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Pots come in different materials. Learn more from Designer Plants so you can choose the right one for you!

Are plastic plant pots recyclable?

If you love collecting plants, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve also got quite the collection of plant pots! Whether it’s plastic plant pots, or pots made of terracotta, metal, or fiberglass, you can’t be a proper plant parent without having the exact right pot for your plants at every stage of their growth.

However, a time will come when you might need to cut down on your collection and dispose of some pots. At this point, you should always keep the three Rs in mind – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reducing your consumption of plant pots is near impossible, since it’s the most convenient way to transport plants, but you can certainly do your part to reuse and recycle your plant pots!

If you’re looking for ways to recycle your plastic plant pots, read on to find out how!

What materials are used to make pots?

Plant pots can be made from a variety of materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. What you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including personal preferences, plant requirements, location of your plant, as well as environmental factors. 

Here are a few main types of materials used to make plant pots:

  • Plastic
    Plant pots made of plastic are hugely popular as they are very lightweight and also affordable. High quality plastic plant pots are also very durable, which means they have a really long lifespan.Plastic pots can also be really eco-friendly, since they can be recycled. There’s also a growing movement among plant pot manufacturers to use recycled plastic to create their plastic plant pots instead of using virgin plastic.Plastic plant pots are also quite diverse – you can find a wide variety of designs when it comes to plastic pots, with a wide range of colours and finishes available. Our range of recycled plastic plant pots are a perfect example of this!
  • Ceramic or terracotta
    Another popular material for plant pots, ceramic or terracotta pots are made from a combination of earthen materials and can be either glazed or unglazed. Terracotta actually means “baked earth” in Italian, which points to the main source of materials used in creating these pots.
    Both ceramic and terracotta pots are highly durable, which is why you’ll be able to find centuries-old pots in museums around the world! Unfortunately, this also means that if you’re wondering “Are terracotta pots eco friendly?”, the answer is “Not really”. Despite its earthen origins, terracotta is a non-biodegradable material, so you cannot recycle or compost terracotta pots.
  • Metal
    A favourite for thrifty plant parents, metal can be a very hardy material in which to keep your plants. Vintage watering cans and soup cans are just some of the things that we’ve seen used as unique plant pots.
    It should be pointed out, however, that metal does heat up significantly, especially in hotter climates and direct sunlight. This means that it may dry up the soil quickly, which can greatly impact some plants. Make sure you use metal pots only for plants who can handle this, like cacti and succulent plants.
  • Fiberglass
    Lightweight, versatile, and able to mimic stoneware, fiberglass is a very attractive material in which to keep your plants. However, they definitely tend to be on the expensive side and have been known to show wear over time compared to plastic, ceramic, and terracotta pots. 

Can you recycle plant pots?

A set of plastic plant pots on a white bench

Thanks to modern technology and an increasing awareness around sustainability, more recycling centres are able to recycle plant pots. In Australia, rigid plastics can go into your recycling bin.

So if you’re wondering “Can plastic pots go into recycling bins?”, the answer is “Yes, but only if it’s made of polypropylene”. 

Want to know if your plastic pot can be recycled? Just flip the pot around and see if you can find a number 5 in a triangle on its base.

If you’re planning to dispose of your plastic plant pots, here are some tips:

  • Check-in with local gardening clubs and nurseries before tossing your plastic pots in the recycling – some accept donations of plastic pots and should always be the first thing you consider when disposing of your plastic pots.
  • Make sure to thoroughly clean your plastic plant pots and containers before popping them in your recycling bin. They should not contain any soil or organic matter.
  • Stack your pots inside one another so they take up less space in your recycle bin.
  • The plastic care labels that came with your plastic plant pot can also be recycled!

You can also contact your local council to check if they have a dedicated processing plant for recycling plant pots. Just ask them where to recycle plastic flower pots, and they should be able to send you in the right direction.

Benefits of using recycled plastic plant pots

Plant pots made of recycled plastic are a great way to decorate your home and garden while still making sustainable and earth-friendly choices! Here are some benefits of using recycled plastic plant pots:

1. They are lightweight

As any avid gardener would tell you, you need to be able to move plants around in order to ensure your plants remain healthy! Things like harsh weather conditions and excessive sun exposure can wreak havoc on plants (yes, even artificial plants), and using a lightweight recycled plastic pot plant will make it that much easier to transfer your plants from one place to another.

2. They are versatile and diverse

Plastic can be made to mimic pretty much any material! Whether combined with other materials or on its own, recycled plastic pot plants can be made to resemble concrete, stone, and even marble!

3. They are durable

High quality recycled plastic pots are made for longevity, allowing you to use (and re-use) them for years with very little maintenance required. Plastic is also a strong material that isn’t prone to breaking or shattering like ceramics or terracotta.

4. They are easy to clean

Plastics are super easy to clean and disinfect, which is really important if you plan on reusing these pots for your garden. They won’t require any extra care to look good – in fact, well made recycled plastic pots can look brand new for years to come, despite direct sunlight and frequent watering!

5. You’ll be supporting closed loop recycling

Closed loop recycling is what happens when you create new items from recycled materials, and are an extremely important part of sustainability practices. This will reduce reliance on virgin plastics and allows more use of recycled post-consumer plastics instead. As an added bonus, processing this post-consumer plastic tends to be less labour intensive and will result in less carbon emissions too.

6. Less plastics will end up in landfills!

Diverting plastics from landfills is one of the best ways to ensure less pollution to our land and waterways. Every time you opt for a recycled plastic product, it’s one less plastic product that ends up in a landfill, so imagine how much of an impact it can make if we all do it?

A better option for our future

Recycling our plastic plant pots and choosing to use recycled plastic plant pots are two excellent ways to reduce plastic waste in our landfills. With the abundance of designs and finishes when it comes to recycled plastic plant pots, it is a great aesthetic choice too!

Whether you’re using recycled plastic plant pots for real plants or artificial plants, there’s sure to be the perfect plant pot for your space. Make sure to browse through our range of recycled plastic plant pots or contact a Designer Plants specialist so we can help choose the right one for you!

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