Just when you thought there would never be anything new in plant pots, along come bioplastic pots. According to horticulturists at Iowa State University, not only are these pots bio-degradable, they can also release nutrients as they naturally break down.
Bioplastics are made from renewable biological sources, such as plants, and researchers believe they could replace plastics currently made from fossil fuels. The researchers did some market research as well and found that consumers do not necessarily prefer plant pots that resemble pots made from petroleum plastics. According to James Graves, a professor of horticulture, "A lot of people want a biocontainer to look earthy and not artificial."
The study also noted that although bioplastic pots cost more than the plastic pots currently on the market, gardeners may be willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly item. Scientist James Schrader noted that the market share for bioplastic pots will start small, eventually prices for bioplastics and petroleum-based plastics should be about equal.
The research study was funded by the US Dept of Agriculture's National Institute for Food and Agriculture. Let's hope these pots hit the market soon.