Germany, Lohne: The BASF Group’s agricultural research station requires plant pots in large quantities every year. Pöppelmann TEKU® supplies them with pots made of 100 per cent post-consumer recyclate (PCR). This material is the leftover waste from other plastic manufactured products, and PCR is the returned material, which plastics specialists Pöppelmann recycle into a granulate. TEKU® uses the granulation to produce new recycled plant pots, which go directly back to BASF Agricultural Research, thus avoiding plastic waste, which helps close the material loop.
PCR plant pots from TEKU® for agricultural research
Around 600,000 plant pots are needed annually for experiments in the greenhouses of BASF’s herbicide research station at the Limburgerhof Agricultural Center. In the past, the black polystyrene plant pots previously used there ended up in waste incineration after use. This activity does not happen now.
BASF’s research department wanted an environmentally friendly alternative and relied on cooperation with Pöppelmann TEKU®. The division of the Pöppelmann Group is, among other things, a supplier of plant pots made of 100 per cent PCR. The plastics specialists developed a unique pot for BASF’s research, with which the material cycle is now closed.
30 tonnes of disposable plastic saved per year
TEKU® product management developed the right pot, based explicitly upon BASF’s requirements. It had to have specific stability, be handled by robots, be easy to stack and unstack by machine and be provided with a (water) resistant coding. One of the most critical properties was the desired recyclability. The plant pot developed by TEKU® consists of 100 per cent PCR, i.e. post-consumer recycled material, which comes from the yellow bin, the yellow bag or other household recycling collections — manufactured in the individual colour Circular blue BASF. After use, the pots are collected at BASF, granulated by a specialist supplier and returned to Pöppelmann. They then make new recycled plant pots from the granulate and send them directly back to BASF Agricultural Research, closing the material loop. In this way, BASF saves up to 30 tonnes of disposable plastic per year. The successful result of cooperating with Pöppelmann TEKU® for more sustainability also won the BASF sustainability competition #Plastic Challenge. The group awards internal projects that work to avoid and reduce and recycle plastic waste.
The Pöppelmann effect: Closed-loop plant pots as a new benchmark
Pöppelmann TEKU® sets standards with an extensive, further expanded range of resource-saving products. The TEKU® products have different recyclability categories, with each providing transparent information about the origin of the material used. As part of the company-wide PÖPPELMANNblue® initiative, which bundles all of the Pöppelmann Group’s activities for a closed material cycle, TEKU® developed, among other things, resource-saving plant pots in the Circular360 category. With the addition of colour and additives, these pots are 100 per cent PCR HW, i.e. post-consumer recycled material from the yellow bin, the yellow sack or other household recycling collections. After use, the articles are 100 per cent recyclable – and thus close the material cycle. And brand new: recently, recyclable plant pots are even available in many trendy colours.