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We’re making it easy for our customers to do the right thing by the planet.
Most plant and seedling pots are made of polypropylene, plastic ID 5, and Mitre 10 sells over 11million every year to our plant-loving garden customers. The pots are recyclable, but most councils don’t accept them in kerbside recycling because they’re often contaminated with dirt.
Pot Recycle is a practical solution we’re trialling that could stop these pots ending up in landfill and reduce the amount of virgin plastic being made.
Customers can return clean plant/seedling pots and labels made of plastic ID 5 to participating stores. The pots are then shredded by our recycling partners, Pact Group and Recycling Group, and remoulded into new pots by our trade partner, Zealandia Horticulture. It’s called closing the loop, product stewardship, or circular economy.
Our recyclers need the pots to be clean because their machines can’t process dirty pots.
The purpose of the trial is to understand the quality of the material we’ll be sending to our recycling partners. If they receive too many dirty pots, the programme won’t roll out nationally.
If dirt or rubbish is mixed in with the ID 5 plastic, the whole lot has to go to landfill, which defeats the purpose of the programme.
The trial accepts plant and seedlings pots and plant labels identified as plastics 1, 2 or 5. Currently we cannot accept black poly plant bags or pots that don’t have a plastic ID number. The trial only covers household/residential use too – we can’t manage commercial quantities.
Currently Zealandia Horticulture are using shred from postproduction pots within their production and recycled post consumed waste in their recycled grey pots. Moving forward, they will use the shredded Pot Recycle plastic pots that you return.
We have introduced Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and we’re working closely with our trade partners to ensure all plant and seedling pots stocked in our garden centres include the correct plastic ID code.
If you have any questions, please contact Sustainability Manager Julie Roberts.
Mitre 10 is committed to making a real and sustainable impact on the environment and in our communities. We do this by conducting our activities and business operations with the highest standard of environmental care and by developing easy sustainability solutions for our customers. See more sustainability projects we’re working on here.