Converting waste plastic from refrigerators into plant trays

BOSKOOP, Netherlands:  Beginning next spring, Dutch-based perennial nursery Griffioen Wassenaar will deliver its plants in pots and trays made of 100% recycled plastic.  Partnering with plastic manufacturer Modiform, the plant grower is setting up a collection and recycling service for its retail customers. Waste plastic from refrigerators will be transformed into plant trays while consumer waste will be used in plant pots.

Stefan Verbunt, assistant director at Griffioen Wassenaar, says the initiative is the next step in the company’s recycling journey to create a closed-loop process, “Our goal is to use the plastics at least five times. As a result, fewer commodities are needed and fewer plastics will  get into the environment.”

Working with garden centres and Modiform, Griffioen will set up a collection and recycling programme which aims to ban all ‘single use plastics’. Returned products will be recycled by Modiform. The return flow will be organised in a cost-neutral way. The investment costs for the new tray and pot will be covered by Griffioen Wassenaar and Modiform as investment in a sustainable future. Menno Krijger (sales director at Modiform) states, “Sustainable production is in our DNA and we are always looking to achieve more sustainability on all fronts. From design up to recycling. To that end we have entered into relationships both in and outside the sector.”

The new, recyclable trays will be easily recognisable by their light grey colour. Modiform produces the trays from plastics extracted from of old refrigerators. As basic material for the Griffioen´s square P11 pots, Modiform uses consumer waste. The three distinct colours for the pots will be detected by near infrared and recycled by waste processors. Consumers can dispose of their pots along with domestic waste.

By intensively guiding their customers, Griffioen will make sure that as much recyclable plastic as possible will be collected for re-use.

Modiform will expand its assortment, based on recycled materials, to enable an increasing number of growers to use responsible products. In doing so, the grower will contribute in a positive way to the recycling process. Together both enterprises will involve other supply chain partners so that the use of recycled materials and the recycling of used pots and trays  becomes the standard in horticulture.

Modiform focuses on multiple links in the chain and always strives to find cooperation between the different parties. From horticultural suppliers and growers to wholesalers and retailers.  Modiform supports, facilitates and develops simple as well as complex solutions to packaging issues and cultivation systems and by doing so adds value to their customers. Sustainable thinking and operating  is in the genes of this family business. Modiform collects materials from society and upcycles these to high-end and differentiating products and innovative concepts.

Griffioen Wassenaar grows millions of perennials on a yearly basis in square 11 centimetre pots. A part of the production is applied, within the  GreentoColour® concept, in public green zones. Before delivery, the plants will be extracted from the pot which will be re-used up to five times. Hello Garden-branded plants find their way to the customer. The recent PlanetProof certification for Griffioen Wassenaar underlines the company´s superior attention to sustainable entrepreneurship.

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