We Do Plastics Better | 40 Years’ Experience

In Horticulture, We Do Plastics Better! Our industry has long used the same plastic for containers and labels making them recyclable together. At GCP our current use of recycled Polypropylene (PP) is over 7million Kilograms annually. Every Australian Nursery is already a part of keeping PP out of landfill.

Almost 4 decades ago, suppliers like GCP & Norwood began partnering to use the same plastic (PP). The decision to keep the streams of packaging in our industry aligned, was made through in-depth research and sound reasoning. Many things have changed in the past 40 years but the decision to manufacture Horticulture products in PP means today, our industry is a long way further ahead of others and actually leading closed-loop recycling methods.

Caretakers of Polypropylene

Horticulture businesses all over Australia actively using Black PP are already keeping 7 Million Kg of recyclable material out of landfill every year. Our aim at GCP, is to increase our use of recycled PP for plastics, Pots and Containers targeting 10million Kg per annum. We are ready to use the PP our recyclers source from various industry members, landscape businesses or home gardeners to make pots over and over again.

What if we didn’t have PP?

If we discarded PP as our chosen container and label material in favour of another resource, such as compostable or biodegradable materials, Australia would automatically need to find landfill space for all the PP used in our industry per year. Meaning that through the use of PP plastic for pots etc, this industry’s members are already leaders in good sustainable practice. If we stopped using PP, we would have to use something less suited and less sustainable as packaging preventing finite resources from being used elsewhere.

What is PP?

PP is simply a Polyolefin or combination of long chain Hydrogen and Carbon molecules which is fully recyclable and similar in structure to products like Polyethylene. PP is almost perfect for use in plant containers and labels as it can simply and effectively be reused indefinitely if captured and recycled without going to landfill. PP is one of the most widely accepted recyclable plastics and its structure and properties are very well suited to the uses nurseries require to grow good plants and transport them for sale.

Why Use and Recycle PP?

We already have an abundant supply of PP onshore. Our industry can lead the way in closed-loop capture and reuse of post-consumer Horticultural PP. Because PP is the main industry packaging type, GCP has been able to find efficient partners to capture and reuse this material as long as it stays free from contamination with other plastics (non PP) or biodegradables which may look the same but can create major problems when mixed with PP. This is why we continue to lead the industry in supply of manufactured recycled PP which is certain to provide good structure and successful use to growers in all container sizes.

Should I be Concerned?

No! Responsible and well informed decisions were made about plant containers in Australia over 30 years ago. PP is a reliable and well accepted recyclable plastic which is being made into flower pots over and over again as it has been for decades. At GCP we are working with many stakeholders to increase the capture and reuse of single and multiuse PP in every state of Australia.

How can I be responsible for Closed Loop PP?

“The people who make the biggest difference are the ones who do the little things consistently”... Every one of us as growers or consumers of Greenlife is responsible for taking small but constant steps to make a difference in the collection of post use (recycled) PP.

In your nursery, the steps are important but simple:

  • knock loose media out of pots,
  • stack pots tightly together and
  • return them to the recycle stream free from other plastics (non-PP) or contaminants such as biodegradable containers.
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    Just a few of the sustainable steps GCP is involved in: