July 26, 2011

New Jersey’s Recycling Program Is One To Watch

Serving as a model for a state program, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture is celebrating 15 successful years of nursery and greenhouse plastic recycling. Karen Kritz, recycling program manager, explains how the program has evolved and gives growers tips to start recycling on their own. In 1996 New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture, Arthur Brown, attended the American Society for Plasticulture meeting and met with representatives from AT Plastics, a manufacturer of nursery and greenhouse film to discuss recycling agricultural plastics. After the meeting, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) accepted the role in 1997 as facilitator in the development and implementation of a statewide film-recycling program in an effort to recover and recycle the estimated 1 million pounds used each year by Garden State growers. NJDA started out with six collection sites where most of the sites only collected nominal tonnage and were not cost effective. In 2003, […]

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July 14, 2011

Bellan Introduces Stone Lite

Bellan International spotlighted its line of decorative fiberglass flower pots featuring Stone Lite for independent garden centers and retailers incorporating the latest European design trends, stone finishes and oven-baked metallic colors. Bellan’s Stone Lite lightweight containers are made from a combination of high-density resin, stone powder and fiberglass, providing more durability and flexibility than resin. To solve problems of poor soil, some of these planters come with drainage holes and a plug and water reservoir system that keeps a minimal amount of water in the pot so the root system has a reserve to draw from. The planters are frost resistant and UV protected for outdoor use. Learn more about Bellan online at Biopots.com.

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July 12, 2011

Ellepot Retail Packaging Unveiled  

Retail packaging for the Ellepot has arrived. In a partnership with the Denmark-based Schur packaging company, Blackmore displayed the Star Bagging System at OFA Short Course. In the automated system, Ellepots are placed in biodegradable, compostable bags, which can be customized with a design and imprinted with a label just before shipping. Schur, one of the largest packaging companies in Denmark, and Blackmore started talking about a partnership more than a year ago, and the display machine shown at Short Course came off the plant floor just three weeks before the show, according to Schur’s Klaus Madsen. More than 500 systems of this kind are being used in Europe for food packaging. He says that the one skid load of the compostable bags is the equivalent of a whole truckload of pots (about 3,500 pots). Finished packaging can be equipped with features such as handles, recloseability, stand-up bottom or easy […]

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June 3, 2011

Fertilpot Earns USDA Biopreferred Certification

The biodegradable wood fiber-based container Fertilpot manufactured by Fertil SAS has earned USDA’s Biopreferred Certification. Plants grown in Fertilpot are intended to be planted into the soil or a larger container without disturbing the natural root structure and eliminating plastic waste. Fertilpot is composed of 80 percent spruce fibers and 20 percent peat moss, making it completely biodegradable. According to USDA, the purpose of the biopreferred program is “to promote the increased purchase and use of bio-based products to the extent that the biopreferred program achieves its purpose.” By increasing the purchase of bio-based products, it is expected to reduce petroleum consumption, increase the use of renewable resources, better manage the carbon cycle and contribute to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts. The program is also expected to promote economic development, creating new jobs and providing new markets for farm commodities. To learn more about Fertilpot visit www.fertilusa.com. Learn more about the […]

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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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