Where to Recycle Plastic Nursery Containers and or Pots.
This article is really about, why are plants so dag blamed expensive?
Do you have a big pile of nursery containers behind your shed that you’d like to get rid of, but you don’t want to put them in the landfill? I’ll show an excellent way to see that those containers get recycled in the most effective way. I’ll show you where you can recycle plastic nursery containers and or pots, whatever you call them.
But first, think about this.
Should you recycle them or give them to somebody that can re-use them?
Here’s my take on this and of course I tend to think about things differently than people who are lot smarter than I am. You see, by not being quite as smart as the “real smarty pants” types I like to think I was given an extra serving of good old fashioned common sense. And this is what I mean by that.
I realize that recycling is a good thing and a noble cause. However, in many ways it’s not very efficient and in some ways not so “earth friendly”. Think about this. When you recycle a plastic nursery container you have to take it to a recycling center where it is picked up in a big truck, taken to a huge facility where the plastics and other material are sorted. The plastic is ground down into small pieces, then melted down, then turned into a raw product, probably plastic pellets. Those plastic pellets are sold and possibly sold again then they eventually end up at a manufacturing facility. Each time they are sold they are probably moved from warehouse to warehouse by truck or train, or both.
Once at the manufacturing facility the plastic pellets are melted down and formed into a new product. Finally! The plastic is re-used.
But . . .
How much energy has been used to truck around the used plastic, then more energy is used to sort the plastic on big conveyors etc., then more energy is used to melt the plastic, then more energy is used to turn the molten plastic into raw pellets. Then it takes more energy to move the pellets from warehouse to warehouse and more energy to melt the pellets and make the new thing in the end.
That’s a lot of energy being used to recycle anything, let alone a plastic nursery container.
Why not just give the plastic nursery container or pot to somebody that can re-use it rather than recycle it?
Sure it may eventually end up in landfill or a recycling center but each time it gets re-used reduces the number of new containers that have to be put into circulation. Less new containers going into circulation is a huge amount of energy that is not being used. We are saving energy on the manufacturing end and we are saving energy on the recycling end.
Which makes more sense?
Okay, here it comes, the big wrench that gets thrown into the works that knocks three cogs off the wheel!
You may or may not have noticed that today nursery containers come in a variety of fancy colors and on the side of those containers there are words. Yes, words! These colored nursery containers are called “branded pots”. In other words they are imprinted with a brand name. This is a new trend in the nursery industry and it’s purpose is to make sure that the company behind the brand is collecting the royalties from the plant that goes into those branded pots.
It’s complicated, but it has to do with patented plants. Today, all of a sudden we are seeing a huge surge of patented plants being put on the market. That’s good for the patent holder but a real pain in the back side for growers and plant retailers. For you as a consumer? You have to pay more for the plants that you buy.
Because the grower who wants to propagate a patented plant must become licensed to grow that particular plant and pay a royalty on each plant that he grows and sells. The royalties are not a lot of money, usually no more than one dollar per plant. But . . . get this, now many of these plant patent owners are requiring the grower to buy those fancy, colored, branded, nursery containers to put the plant in. That’s right, the plant has to go into a particular container! You can’t put it in just a regular black nursery container.
This creates a problem. Where can a person find a lime green container that says “xyz” on the side of it? Only one place of course, from the plant patent holder. So now you have to buy the container from the plant patent holder and of course it costs money to ship 10,000 plastic nursery containers any distance, let alone a long distance.
So that means that the grower can no longer shop for the best price on nursery containers and that also means that the grower can no longer buy those nursery containers “down the road” like he does for all of his non patented plants. He only has one place where he or she can buy those “lime green” containers. I would not like being in that position at all.
Does this sound complicated, confusing and frustrating? It should, because it is.
Wanna raise a growers blood pressure? Just ask about “the colored pot” debacle. Watch what happens. I did this recently on a nursery tour and I thought I was going to get tossed off the wagon! Seriously. I was there with a number of our backyard growers and I asked “the” question. It clearly was a sore subject!
Okay, now let’s make this even more stupid and complicated.
Somebody suggested to me a few days ago that I cannot “re-use” a branded nursery container. If I have one of those white, pink, or lime green nursery containers, a used one, I cannot use it to pot up a Lynnwood Gold Forsythia which is not patented and has been around forever.
Who says I can’t? If I go to the xyz store and buy a plant in a lime green container and pay for it with my money at the cash register, I do believe that I am the rightful owner of that plant and the container it came in. I am also the proud owner of the soil in the container. I bought the whole shebang lock stock and barrel. It’s now my property and I should be able to do with it as I please as long as I don’t break any laws.
Like I said, this is complicated and you the consumer are paying for this fiasco. When you buy one of these plants you are paying extra because of the headaches involved in bringing this plant to you. Growers have told me that if they sell one of these branded plants they are adding as much as $2.50 to the price of the plant because of the extras costs that they incur in growing and selling the plant. That means that you are paying as much as $5.00 extra per plant because if a retailer has to pay more for the plant wholesale they are going to base their markup, which is usually 100% on the price they pay.
So . . . how do you, the consumer, save money on plants? You buy them from one of our Backyard Growers. We have very little overhead, we can sell for considerably less.
Where can take your used nursery containers to be re-used and not recycled? Most of our Backyard Growers would be happy to accept them. Even the pretty ones. They’ll find a use for them. Probably put a plant in them. I know I will. Contact our Backyard Growers in your area and ask if they’d like some plastic nursery containers. I’m guessing they’ll be happy to hear from you.
So what does all of this patented plant and color nursery pots mean to our Backyard Growers? Nothing. Absolutely nothing! It usually plays to our advantage. Just the other day one of our growers bought out a nursery that got stuck with 350 plants in colored pots. He got them for almost nothing. He sold a bunch of them the next day! That’s how I happened to write this article about “colored pots”. Because of the deal that Brian got and made me aware of.
There are so many non patented plants that we are free to grow and sell we as Backyard Growers just steer away from most of the patented plants. The only patented plant that I grow right now is Lavender Twist Redbud. I think the royalty was one dollar and I will sell these for $75.00 to $175.00 each.
Growing and Selling Small Plants from Home is not at all Complicated. And . . . as a Backyard Grower you really are providing a service to the plant lovers in your town. They will love you for selling them nice plants at reasonable prices. Get started right now!
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