Growing Green Our Commitment to Sustainability
Horticulture is synonymous with enjoyment of nature and surroundings, but also preserving and enhancing them for future generations. However, unfortunately the horticultural industry has becoming a leading contributor of single use plastic and transport emissions. An estimated 500 million plant pots, seed trays, carry packs and pot trays are distributed every year, three quarters of which end up in landfill (HTA, 2019). Alongside this there are concerns regarding the transportation and importation of plants, and the effect this has on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. This document details our commitment to sustainability where possible from the production nursery through to the retail of our plants.
We are now trialling a bulk option for both compost and bark, supplied by Melcourt the Peat Free Multipurpose is endorsed by the RHS and the winner of the Which Best Buy award for Peat-Free Multipurpose. The bark is produced from sustainable sourced pine approved by the FSC. The reusable heavy-duty bags are available for a one-off fee, you can then bring them back and fill them up as many times as you need, in an effort to reduce disposable plastic packaging. In the near future we have plans to replace all compost on the nursery with a peat-free alternative. This Melcourt Peat-Free compost that we stock in the Plant Centre is currently being trialled at our nursery, along with other peat alternatives.
The informative stick-in and clip-on labels that we use on a large number of our plants are made from a fully recyclable material so they can go straight in your kerbside recycling. We have also invested in 3 new printers that reduce our wastage by printing the exact desired number of labels.
Our production nursery is located 2 miles from our plant centre. By growing the majority of our plants on site this reduces the need for us to import a large number of plants with a hefty carbon footprint! This also means that any plants that do not sell can be sent back to the nursery where they can be potted on and looked after until they can be sold again, meaning that our wastage levels remain very low.
Recyclable and Reusable Plastic
Here at Olivers we also run a recycling scheme for any plastic plant pots and trays purchased from us. All you need to do is return any unwanted pots and trays back to the plant centre, we will then return them to a facility in Maldon, Essex where the plastic is treated and recycled into new plant pots. To reduce our plastic consumption further, we also use reusable plastic pot trays to transport plants between the nursery and plant centre.
Both at the Plant Centre and Nursery we harvest as much rainwater as possible to feed our irrigation systems. We have recently constructed a new water tank at the production nursery which will store and filter 750,000 litres of rainwater, along with excess surface water run off collected on site. A water collection system has also been implemented at the Plant Centre that harvests surface run off from the ground and redirects it back into the irrigation.re, soil improver and wood chip are all sourced from the surrounding area and bagged by us on the Production Nursery, again in an attempt to reduce the distances that our products travel to reach us and