Plastic horticultural pots are the primary vessels used in horticulture and landscaping. Without them, the Green Industry would not have grown to be the multibillion dollar industry it is today. Primarily after single use, billions of plastic plant pots are disposed of annually in the United States. A staggering 98% end up in landfills and are not recycled. This realization was the impetus behind looking into why it is occurring, how it remained under the radar as long as it did and suggestions for steps we can take moving forward.
For the past 23 years, Marie Soulliere-Chieppo has been a landscape designer and horticulturalist with a passion for healthy landscapes. All of her designs incorporate native plants that provide four season interest and habitat for wildlife. She is a big believer in educating her clients and the the public about the importance of strictly organic approaches to gardening, pest control and invasive plant management. Before she discovered her love for gardening, she was the researcher for the Editor in Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine. Being a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designer’s Sustainability Committee, she was asked to research the issue of plastic horticultural pots, their disposal and how their use impacts our environment. For 6 months she plunged into this issue and made some jaw dropping discoveries. The white paper entitled, “Plastic Pots and The Green Industry. Production, Use, Disposal and Environmental Impacts.”