The UK Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is urging local authorities to focus on collecting non-black kerbside recyclable plant pots.

According to the UK trade association, an estimated 8,000t of plant pots are being diverted from landfill and recycled back into pots.

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HTA has worked closely with plastic recycling and resource management authority RECOUP to release a Recyclability by Design framework document.

The framework offers technical assurance to recyclers, confirming that the new pots meet the necessary criteria for recycling in kerbside collections.

HTA Policy and Communications director James Clark said: “Gardeners are environmentally conscious, concerned about using materials sustainably and expect the garden industry to do the right thing.

“The industry has made huge developments over the past year in introducing non-black kerbside recyclable plant pots. We will be stepping up our campaign activity and want to work with the waste and recycling industry to progress this initiative.

“There is no better time to do so, given that the evidence is clear that non-black plant pots are recyclable, particularly with the launch of the Recyclability by Design document.”

At the RECOUP Plastics Recycling and Resources Conference, held on 26 September in Peterborough, Clark highlighted various initiatives implemented by the UK horticulture industry to make a shift to using non-black polypropylene kerbside recyclable plant pots.

He noted: “If all kerbside-compliant pots sold each year were collected this could divert an estimated 8,000t quality polypropylene away from landfill and energy from waste and back into the recycling stream to be made into more pots.

“A number of local authorities already collect recyclable plant pots, highlighting that it is possible, especially given that they are made from a valuable material with an end-market.”