Weʼre raising £2,022 to enable Potty Eco Pots to build collection/drop-off units to help people to reuse plant pots, saving them from waste and incineration.This 2.4m wide x 1.2m deep Plant Pot Reuse Station had just been delivered to the Les Creux Recycling Centre in the Parish of St. Brelade, Jersey. After a just a few days, it was almost full of pots and people were collecting the ones they wanted, posting messages of thanks on FB.
It cost over £350 ($430) to build and deliver, and was made by a local charitable organisation called Acorn. Builders merchant Normans Ltd. provided the timber at a greatly discounted price and the Parish and local government gave permission for it to be installed in the Recycling Centre.
We are aiming to have several more of these made for other parishes in Jersey where demand is now high.
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Potty Eco Pots started in early 2021 after I learned that a skip load of plastic plant pots is burned every week in the incinerator from Jersey’s domestic waste.
The idea began by simply asking La Collette Household Reuse and Recycling Centre if they could save the pots. I then put them on Ecycle Jersey and two local schools commented saying they didn’t have any funding for pots and would like to take them.
I first stored the plant pots in the alleyway of my house and now we have collection boxes around the Island.
I came up with the name Potty Eco Pots because it’s just potty how many pots were finding their way to the waste stream that could be gifted and reused, encouraging people to grow more with a small financial outlay for seeds and compost.
How has the project grown over the past two years?
The initiative started by gifting pots to schools and has grown from there. We’ve got two big collection boxes at La Collette and now have various boxes at other sites, including Waitrose on Vallee Des Vaux and behind SCOOP in St Lawrence.All the boxes are made from recycled materials by local carpenters as donations. It’s going to take a bit of time, but we’re going to have at least one box in each parish.
The boxes will stop so many pots from going to the incinerator and will also cut down on people driving to the recycling centre to dump them.
Once all the parishes are covered, we would love to have a pop-up shop in town.
After so many schools wanted pots, we also started giving away tree kits with pots, compost and seeds. At JCG, each student now has a potted tree, which will be planted to create a woodland. St Michael’s school collected 300 kits and will plant them on their land, as are St George’s.
Where do the values of Potty Eco Pots stem from?
The bigger picture is about community and sharing. It’s all about the gift economy, which in my eyes, is the future. It’s also helping cut down on imported goods to the Island. If people aren’t buying pots, they won’t be imported. If these pots can be reused again and again before they hit the incinerator, then that’s great.The wonderful thing about Potty Eco Pots is that 120,000 pots haven’t been burned, so 120,000 pots haven’t been imported.
Organisations are also getting involved. Samarès Manor, for example, is buying bare-root plants and potting them in recycled pots, rather than importing plants in pots.The vision is to expand to other re-use schemes. I’m thinking kitchen utensils, crockery, saucepans and cutlery. We’ve got all the resources we could possibly need, so the idea is to get the whole Island together to share these resources.
Write to me, Kalina Le Marquand, for more information – Potty Eco Pots