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Gladstone H. Taylor headshot

B&Q Launches Plastic Plant Pot Recycling Program

The United-Kingdom-based home improvement company B&Q is minimizing gardening waste with a closed-loop plant pot recycling initiative. The plastic pots it collects are used to make new, weather-resistant pots.
Sprouts in plastic plant pots — plant pot recycling

(Image: Markus Spiske/Unsplash)

When summer arrives, it brings plant sales and the urge to garden along. As you take home a new collection of plants this season, you might wonder what to do with all the plastic plant pots they come in. If you live in the United Kingdom, B&Q can solve your plant pot waste debacle. Launching over 100 plastic pot recycling stations across the country, the home improvement company has high hopes of starting a sustainable gardening revolution. 

“At B&Q we have a strong connection to nature and have many sustainable products available in our gardening ranges,” Sanita Garley, the company's responsible business manager, told TriplePundit. “Understanding where we could help gardeners limit their impact was therefore a key place to start with this new initiative.” 

The company built the recycling program as a closed-loop system, Garley said. 

“We collect plant pots and plastic waste from the stations in our stores,” Garley said. “This is then sent to recycling, and we make the product out of the recycled plastic. The plant pots are taken to a reprocessing facility that makes them into plastic pellets which are then used directly in the making of a new plant pot.” 

The final product, the Blacksmith Planter, is weather resistant, made of 100 percent recycled plastic and retails at £4. 

Growing as a business means more than profit 

B&Q is a trusted home improvement retailer. This endeavor was not a need for the company. If anything it might provide a challenge, something Garley said they didn’t shy away from. But improvement as a business isn’t as simple as making the most profit for B&Q, Garley said. Communities and the environment are also a key concern for the company.

“Our goal is to continue making changes to improve as a business and help build a better world for our customers, colleagues and communities,” she said. 

The plant pot recycling initiative is already a hit in B&Q stores, “The response has been great, they’ve already become popular — in fact we sold out of the first production volume of planter pots in the first couple of weeks.” 

Consumers care about sustainable practices 

Concern for the environment is growing among Millennials and Gen Z, according to a 2023 survey by the consulting firm Deloitte. This concern is motivating their career decisions. They're holding companies to a higher standard and choosing businesses that offer sustainable policies and opportunities. 

This trend is opening a space for companies to step up and create accessibility within their businesses for both employees and consumers, something B&Q is aiming for with its recycling initiative. 

“As a business, we want to make a positive difference through tangible actions and continue to put innovation at the forefront of our approach to helping our customers make more sustainable choices,” Garley said. “These new recycling stations will allow us to repurpose something that would normally be discarded and help us in our goal to make more sustainable choices easier and more convenient for our customers.”

As the new adults of the modern world continue to grapple with rising temperatures and looming food scarcity associated with climate change, gardening is on the rise. And B&Q’s plant pot recycling initiative is helping the growing population of gardeners reduce their environmental impact. 

Gladstone H. Taylor headshot

Gladstone H Taylor is an author/journalist living and operating out of the creative industries of Kingston, Jamaica. He has been writing professionally for over eight years. He’s reported on the environment, culture, music, film, and tech through platforms such as Mongabay, The Fader, Sole DxB, Bandcamp, The Face Magazine, RollingStone, Afropunk, Syfy Wire, and PopDust, to name a few. He is a member of Covering Climate Now and Uproot Project.

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