October 11, 2011

The Future Of Plastics [Special Report]

Let’s face it: Plastic is everywhere. It’s something most of us take for granted, but it’s at the core of so many things we use in everyday life. Plastic is at the core of how greenhouse growers do business, as well. Before the advent of plastic, handling, growing and shipping plants were undertakings we’d snicker at today. Imagine having to make your own flats out of wooden slats or growing in all clay pots: Greenhouse floriculture couldn’t possibly be the mega industry it is without the simplification and flexibility of plastic. Still, as consumers become more aware of their own use of plastic and its impact on the environment, they’re looking to other industries, including ours, and how we’re using it. Can we respond that we’re using it sustainably and that plastic is still the best value for growers, retailers and consumers? The answers according to most plastics manufacturers, as […]

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July 28, 2011

Curbside Recycling: A Step In The Right Direction

One of the biggest challenges facing greenhouse floriculture is plastics recycling at the consumer level. Once the consumer has no need for a flat, pack or pot, whose responsibility is it to ensure those plastics ultimately make their way to a recycling center? The truth is recycling is the responsibility of the entire supply chain, including the consumer, but the pressure to find solutions mounts more on the front end. Raw material cost pressures have mounted in recent years, as well, forcing manufacturers to look for alternatives to polypropylene, which is more than twice the price it was less than two years ago. And in the case of McConkey, a West Coast container manufacturer that also offers product from Dillen Products and East Jordan Plastics, its search for a polypropylene alternative just happens to lead to a recycling solution. “McConkey has spent more than $1 million on research and development to […]

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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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