Pick your Pot – by Nursery Management
Plastic has been the predominant container material in the U.S. green industry because plastic containers are available in many sizes, shapes, and colors and are relatively inexpensive. Currently, production of ornamental plants consumes an estimated 1.66 billion pounds of plastic every year (Figure 1). The sheer volume of plastic consumption poses many problems, from limited access to recycling centers, high collection costs, liability for poorly sanitized containers, and chemical contamination concerns. Not surprisingly, 98 percent of used plastic containers are disposed of in landfills. Consumers are questioning the use of plastic products as a sustainable practice in a truly “green” industry, and some consumers are even willing to pay a premium for non-plastic or recyclable containers. Meeting this consumer interest gives growers and retailers an opportunity to offer more eco-friendly products.