Thousands of pounds of plastic diverted after CNLA event
By Mike Jiggens
Customers who visited their local independent garden centres from June 21 to July 1, saw first hand what the garden centre industry is doing for the environment. This year, 50 garden centres, spanning eight provinces, participated in the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association's (CNLA) fourth National Plastics Recycling Event by acting as drop-off points for their community's used garden pots and trays. Since its inception in 2010, this annual 10-day event has diverted more than 120,000 pounds of plastic from the landfill. That is just a fraction of the overall number, considering the increasing number of garden centres which recycle plastic year-round.
"Garden centres are green by nature, and have been working together for a number of years to find a solution to recycle their garden plastics", said Anthony O'Neill, CNLA's Garden Centres Canada Committee chair. This was the fourth year for the program, and recycling plastic pots and trays has become more widespread. The public is aware of the need to recycle their old garden pots and trays, and many now have the option to do so at their local independent garden centre, or through their municipality's curbside recycling program.
Anyone who missed the event and still has possession of unwanted trays and pots needn't worry. First, check for the recycling symbol and see if your region processes that number. If not, check with your local garden centre; some stores offer year-round collection, while others have recycling options for your community. The National Plastics Recycling Event is scheduled to return again in 2014. Recyclers who can offer free pick-ups of unsorted garden and agricultural plastics, and garden retailers who wish to participate, are asked to contact the CNLA.