May 26, 2011

Perspective: Jack Shelton, Poppelmann Plastics USA

Although Jack Shelton started out as an engineer designing airplanes and manufacturing packaging, it was his career in horticultural plastics that really took off. His journey began in 1975, when he and his wife became grower-retailers in Georgia because they loved plants. They learned all they could from more experienced growers and attended classes. “One great thing about this industry is greenhouse owners and growers were always happy to help colleagues, even though they were going to be competition,” he recalls. But after seven years, they decided to close their operation and work in the industry, so they could have their weekends back and even take a vacation. Shelton became a sales manager representing OS Plastics, which is based in Denmark, for 19 years. In 2000, he began working with Poppelmann Plastics in Germany with the goal of establishing a manufacturing facility in the United States. Today, the company has […]

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April 29, 2011

How Appealing Are Biodegradable Containers?

One of the most widely discussed topics in the floriculture industry stemming from consumers exhibiting greater degrees of environmental awareness is the issue of environmental sustainability. The sustainability movement has led to a desire for products that not only solve the needs of consumers, but are also produced and marketed using sustainable production and business practices. Consumers increasingly place a greater emphasis on product packaging, and the emphasis has carried over to the greenhouse and floral sectors in the form of biodegradable pots. Although various forms of eco-friendly pots have been available for several years, their marketing appeal has been limited. But with the recent availability of more attractive biodegradable plant containers, a renewed interest in their suitability in the floriculture sector and their consumer acceptance has emerged. The Study The objective of our study, funded by the American Floral Endowment and the Horticultural Research Institute, was to determine the […]

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March 31, 2011

The Value Of Biodegradable Containers

What drives a consumer to purchase one plant over another? Logical factors include plant type, need and price. But as more consumers begin to take note of environmental impacts associated with their households and the products they buy, the need to personify your product as meeting this “green” standard is essential. There are several ways firms can capitalize on this transition consumers are making to being “green,” including implementing new production techniques, lowering carbon footprint within your operation or offering plants in a more environmentally sustainable potting container. Unlike new production techniques and lowering carbon footprint, introducing biodegradable containers has the potential to offer a relatively easy and cost-effective means to target the “environmental consumer.” The potential for new biodegradable potting containers is good. In a recent study by Hall et al. (2010), approximately 84 percent of consumers valued a biodegradable potting container to the traditional plastic pot. Furthermore, four […]

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March 23, 2011

Taking Pride In Pots

How many people do you know who gripe virtually every day they have to work?   We all know at least a few of those people–heck, you may be one yourself–but a group of about 30 hard-working people at Dillen Products in Middlefield, Ohio, have never shown up with a case of the Mondays. Or the Tuesdays. Or a severe case of any day for that matter.   There is, in fact, little if no drama at this group’s workplace, and the 30 have made just one error in the three years their lead supervisor has been in charge. Considering the group has a strong focus and is extremely efficient, it may come as a surprise to outsiders that every team member is faced with a developmental disability. Autism, down syndrome and mental retardation are among the conditions that impair team members, but none of the 30 lets their condition […]

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March 10, 2011

Pöppelmann’s Jack Shelton Retiring

Jack Shelton, president of Pöppelmann Plastics USA, has announced his retirement from the company, which he will continue to serve on a consulting basis and as a member of the board. Shelton opened Pöppelmann Plastics’ first U.S. operation and has directed the company’s impressive growth for the last decade. Pöppelmann founded in the United States in 2000 as the first North American subsidiary of the German-based company. In 2009, less than two years after opening its $12 million plant in Claremont, N.C., the company constructed an $8 million warehouse that doubled the size of its complex in Claremont Industrial Park. Now dedicated to making thermoformed and injection-molded horticultural pots and related products, the complex eventually will house production and sales for Pöppelmann’s other divisions as well. “Our technically superior products have been well received in the marketplace, and the printing of marketing messages directly on the pots further boosted sales,” […]

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February 2, 2011

Myers Introduces Pro-Ex Pot & Tray Line

Myers Industries Lawn and Garden Group (MLGG) is now introducing its new Pro-Ex line of polypropylene coextruded pots and polypropylene carrying trays. The Pro-Ex line consists of five coextruded pots ranging in size from 4 to 4.5 inches. The pots feature a wide platform lip, which imparts superior hoop strength and an effective, molded-in tag slot that keeps tags in an upright position. The pots will be stocked in black and terra cotta exterior colors and are available in cartons or bulk pallets. All pots have a gloss finish for easy adhesive labeling, and all can be offset printed by MLGG in up to eight colors. The accompanying polypropylene carrying trays are durable, flexible and long lasting. Seven different configurations offer a wide selection of trays for any growing operation. Standard stocking color for the trays is black and may be produced in a variety of optional colors. For more […]

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January 18, 2011

CowPots Come In 3 New Sizes

CowPots, seed starter pots made from composted cow manure fibers, has added three new sizes to its offerings for commercial growers. The new 3-inch round, 7-inch square, and 12-inch square pots are a result of customer requests. “Our commercial customers have asked us to add a 3-inch round pot to complement our 3-inch square pot because some greenhouses and nurseries prefer round over square,” says Matthew Freund, farmer owner of CowPots. “The larger 7-inch and 12-inch pots allow for bulb planters, larger plants such as garden mums, and combos/mixed containers.” As with all CowPots, the new sizes will stand up in a commercial nursery for more than 12 weeks once filled. They will quickly degrade once planted in the ground, releasing nitrogen into the soil to aid plant growth. Because the pots are made completely from composted manure, they encourage extensive, unrestricted root growth. “Our 7-inch pot is already being […]

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January 14, 2011

Ball’s SoilWrap Ranks First In Packaging Survey

Ball Horticultural Company’s SoilWrap plantable container was ranked No. 1 overall in a recent innovative packaging survey completed by Summit Media Group publication Shelf Impact and international brand and design consultancy Dragon Rouge. The survey asked nearly 1,000 Shelf Impact packaging professionals to evaluate 60 packages from across product categories. SoilWrap received the highest evaluation overall, outranking new product packaging from companies such as Clorox, Panasonic, Bausch & Lomb and Minute Maid. “SoilWrap’s plantable container stands out in both concept and structural innovation with an eco-friendly solution that is completely biodegradable to address consumer concerns about landfill waste,” Eric Zeitoun writes in Packaging World’s December issue. Within the individual surveys, SoilWrap was ranked No. 1 in: • The ability to create new ways of thinking about a category • Product structure’s ability to present new ways of interacting with a product type • The packaging’s use of innovative materials “Being […]

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December 22, 2010

Biodegradable Containers: How Appealing Are They?

One of the most widely discussed topics in the floriculture industry stemming from consumers exhibiting greater degrees of environmental awareness is the issue of environmental sustainability. The sustainability movement has led to a desire for products that not only solve the needs of consumers, but are also produced and marketed using sustainable production and business practices. Consumers increasingly place a greater emphasis on product packaging, and the emphasis has carried over to the greenhouse and floral sectors in the form of biodegradable pots. Although various forms of eco-friendly pots have been available for several years, their marketing appeal has been limited. But with the recent availability of more attractive biodegradable plant container. The Study The objective of our study, funded by the American Floral Endowment and the Horticultural Research Institute, was to determine the characteristics of biodegradable pots that consumers deem most desirable, and to solicit their willingness to pay […]

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October 14, 2010

SoilWrap Wins Greener Package Award

Ball Innovations, a business unit of Ball Horticultural Company, has won a Greener Package Award for SoilWrap, a bio-based, plantable growing container. The Greener Package Awards competition is sponsored by Summit Publishing’s GreenerPackage.com, and recognizes innovations in five categories that significantly reduce packaging’s environmental footprint. “SoilWrap has been in development for several years and is the result of breakthrough design and materials,” says Bill Doeckel, general manager of Ball Innovations. “Winning the Greener Package award bestows considerable third-party credibility and prestige for green packaging innovation.” The bottomless pot design–winner in the Non-Food Primary Packaging category–is made of Mirel, a renewable, biodegradable and environmentally friendly material. SoilWrap was designed by Greg Trabka, Sustainable Horticulture Specialist with Ball Innovations. SoilWrap offers environmentally friendly solutions to the home gardener. The plantable, printable design addresses the massive landfill waste associated with horticultural plastic. It also saves time during transplanting by approximately 30% as you […]

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October 5, 2010

Slideshow: Pot & Tray Product Roundup

Check out the latest pot and tray products to hit the market.

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