From cell phones and computers to water bottles and bags, plastic has moulded society in many ways that make life both easier and safer. However, this ease of living has come at a huge environmental cost.
Since mass production of plastic began in the 1940’s it has grown to become an essential item in the society. More than 280 million tons of plastic were manufactured in 2012. In fact, according to a report by the British Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society the amount of plastic manufactured in the first 10 years of the 21st century is equal to the entire amount produced in the 20th century.
Plastic is an environmental nightmare. The chemical building blocks that make plastics so versatile are the same components that harm people and the environment. For example:
• Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other negative human health effects.
• Plastic debris, laced with chemicals are often ingested by marine animals and can injure or poison wildlife.
• Floating plastic waste, which can survive for thousands of years in water, serves as mini transportation devices for invasive species, disrupting habitats.
• Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.
• Around 4 percent of the world’s oil production is used as a feedstock to make plastics, and a similar amount is consumed as energy in the process
Plastic is widely used in agriculture and the plastic pot has become a common sight in flower gardens, greenhouses and nurseries. At CoirGreen, we have always been driven to create products that are environmentally sustainable and this mindset led us to create the coir pot as an environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic pot.
CoirGreen pots (CG pots) are 100% biodegradable and transform into organic matter on decomposing. They are made for use in horticultural farms, flower gardens, greenhouses, and nurseries. The coir pot provides nutrients like zinc, magnesium, copper and iron, all beneficial to healthy plant growth, and its high resistance to mold is great for greenhouses. Commercial growers can use the pots to grow plants- skipping the transplanting step which often leads to ‘transplant shock’.
Plants growing in traditional plastic pots tend to develop tightly massed root systems that do not take full advantage of the allocated growing area. If grown in coir pots, plants grow throughout the whole pot, and grow into the pot wall. Once the roots reach the outer edge of the wall, they stop growing out and continue to grow inside the pot; contact with the air stops the roots from growing, root buds start to appear and secondary roots start to develop throughout the pot. This phenomenon is known as “aerial root pruning”.
If roots are not exposed to air (aerial root pruning) they continue to grow around the container in a constricted pattern. The roots may spiral, twist, kink or become strangled. When the plant is later installed it will likely fail to establish a normal root structure, and instead will have reduced uptake of water and nutrients. Eventually abnormal growth should be obvious and could cause the plant to fail. Damaged root systems also cause leaves to turn yellow or brown, shrivel or drop. Healthy, highly branched root structures allow a plant to more efficiently uptake water and nutrients while increasing growth and overall plant health. A strong root system will make a plant better able to establish itself when installed in a restoration project.
Benefits of using CG Organic Coir Pots
● Pots remain stable above ground for a year and biodegrade in the soil after 2 – 3 months
● Pots add texture to the soil as they degrade
● Can also be added to the compost heap as a valuable source of carbon (brown material)
● Plants grown in these pots benefit from air pruning
● Plant roots will grow through the pot walls, encouraging a strong root system.
● There is no transplanting shock
● Ideal for cucurbits and courgettes in particular
● Absorbs water better
● Moderates moisture and increase microbial activity
● Has high tensile strength and lignin content
● Is environmentally sustainable