Taupe Is The New Black....

On Thursday 19th July 2018 a group of leading HTA grower members met to discuss the issue of the garden industries reliance on single-use black plastic pots, that can’t currently be recycled, with the aim of agreeing to move to a new alternative as soon as possible that can be widely recycled through kerbside recycling schemes.

A taupe-coloured polypropylene pot was selected by the group as being capable of recycling through current UK kerbside recycling systems and easily identifiable by consumers.

The new fully recyclable and recycled
industry standard taupe pot

Following the meeting, HTA is working with RECOUP, the UK's leading authority on plastics waste and resource management to raise awareness of the new pot with local authorities, waste companies and reprocessors and the general public. This with the aim of getting Local Authorities to state that the will collect non-black plastic plant pots in their kerbside recycling schemes.

There are other colours of pots, such as blue and grey, that also fit the specification of recyclable, which are made of a proportion of recycled polypropylene. These are equally recyclable.

As long as the plastic does not contact carbon-black pigment, and is made of polypropylene it is recyclable and will be able to go back into the waste stream after rinsing out any excess soil or compost.

RECOUP states The UK horticultural industry has worked together to be pro-active in moving away from plant pots which contain carbon black pigment. Following testing, and work done between RECOUP, and our long-standing member Aeroplas, the move to carbon pigment free detectable pigment as per WRAP guidelines is a major step forward. RECOUP will continue to help promote the message to Local Authorities that Plant Pots should now be included in kerbside collections.”

It is worth making note of a piece of research undertaken by BBC Gardeners' World magazine which looks at the public's appetite and attitudes to change in the use of plastic in gardening and horticulture. The research can be viewed below.

BBC Research

We would encourage any nursery currently undertaking to phase in the taupe pot into their crop programmes to get in touch with their local TV news programme and get their efforts highlighted in a news piece.

April 2019 

Welcoming the taupe pot

Following the industry initiative to develop an alternative to the traditional black plastic pot customers will see an increasing number of recyclable carbon pigment free taupe pots in garden centres this Spring. To assist you with any questions that you may get please find a factsheet here with some Q and A’s and background information.

The Taupe Pot
June 2019

The Recyclability of Post‐Consumer Polypropylene (PP)

Recoup evidence paper recycling of polypropylene pots tubs and trays

Any HTA grower members interested in joining this initiative can contact:
Sally Cullimore, HTA Policy Manager. E-mail: [email protected] Tel 01235 776196