Innovative biodegradable seedling pot made from waste corn. A new product range in Ireland, becausewecare™, has taken a step forward in eliminating the need for plastic plant pots in our gardens. Becausewecare™ is introducing their retail range of compostable and biodegradable seedling pots to garden centres and nurseries across Ireland for this Spring. This is great news for home gardeners who like to grow their plants from seed.
The pots are designed to be planted in the soil with a seedling, where they will biodegrade, releasing nutrients as they do so. The exact formula of the becausewecare ™pots is a trade secret, but they are made from cornstarch and other natural ingredients. The corn that is used to make the cornstarch is waste or “third grade” corn, literally corn that has fallen to the ground from corn crops, and can’t be used for human or animal consumption, The corn is grown in an area of high natural rainfall without the need for irrigation.
The Irish distributor for becausewecare™, Tim Wells originally from Sydney but now a based in Bray Co. Wicklow with his Irish wife and family, first came across the becausewecare™ products on a trip back to Australia. Tim says” We first saw the becausewecare™ compostable products when I was out shopping with my family in Australia. We were struck by the concept and started to think of ways it could be used in Ireland.” It was Tim’s redundancy from his job in 2010 which gave him the impetus to go forward and bring these innovative products to the Irish market.
Researching the market Tim found that in the UK alone up to 500 million plastic plant pots are circulated each year. Not only is oil used to make the plastic, they are very difficult to recycle, with many recycling depots refusing to take them. Tim says “ Like a lot of people I had numerous plastic plant pots clogging up my garden shed. I thought wouldn’t it be great to be able to grow a plant in a pot that can then be planted in the ground where it will biodegrade, leaving no impact on the environment.”
The becausewecare™ pots have several advantages over both traditional plastic and peat based plant pots. The corn used to make the pots is a sustainable and annually renewable resource, whereas oil is used to make plastic plant pots. There are also issues of sustainability with peat based pots.
The compostable pots are easy to handle and do not absorb water themselves, keeping the soil within nice and moist for the plant. The pots will only start to biodegrade fully once planted in the soil and are easy to handle before going into the ground. Tim says” I think these are ideal for those into Grow It Yourself. I have used the pots myself to grow vegetables and found that both sizes of pots were useful.” The pots are available in both 3 inch and 4 inch sizes.
Becausewecare™ pots are certified to meet European, US and Australian standards for composting. The Australian Standard adds on the additional requirement of worm and plant growth tests, which are not included in the European or American Standards. This ensures that when a compostable material breaks down within a composting environment, it does not negatively affect the worms that consume it or the health of plants that are subsequently grown in it.
He continues” In a perfectly natural environment such as a garden it makes sense to try and use natural products that don’t leave a mark on the environment. There must be millions of plastic plant pots filling up sheds and gardens throughout the country, wouldn’t be great if they were all gone”
Tim says “ I would love to see my kids grow up in a world that has less plastic in it. I think our pots are a step in the right direction. The pots are made from a plant, can then be used to grow a plant themselves, and then return to the soil to start the process all over again, even the packaging is fully compostable. “
The pots are available in good garden centres across Ireland. To find your local stockist check out www.becausewecare.ie
Read previous article – A New Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Peat and Plastic Seedling Pots from BecauseWeCare