Four companies link up to recycle used expanded-polystyrene bedding trays

Notcutts and Garden & Leisure have become the UK's first garden centres to recycle used expanded-polystyrene (EPS) bedding plant trays and plant-pot carriers.

Customers of Notcutts' 13 centres and Garden & Leisure's seven centres can return used trays to be recycled with the help of Roundstone Nurseries and Styropack.

The four companies collect and compact the EPS items so that they can be sent for recycling to Synbra Technology, a Holland-based sister company of Styropack.

Garden & Leisure signed up to the system this spring. Notcutts trialled it in 2008 and is rolling it out this year. Since starting up the recycling scheme in 2005, Styropack has recycled 207 tonnes of used horticulture EPS products.

Styropack UK sales manager Laura Kielty said: "This demonstrates that EPS used in the horticulture sector can be recycled."

St Albans-based Burston Nurseries is also recycling trays with Styropack. Nursery manager James Alcaraz said: "We use EPS seedling trays four times and then we collect and store them to be recycled.

"The trays are returned to Styropack on the return journeys of existing delivery routes - an important factor if the scheme is to be sustainable economically and environmentally," she explained.

- Nurseries and garden centres in the scheme are: Garden & Leisure in the Midlands and South West; Notcutts in the East, South East and North West; Burston in Hertfordshire; Arden Lea and Ornamental Plants in Preston, Lan- cashire; Les Halman Nurseries in Knutsford, Cheshire; Crosby's in Timperley, Cheshire; and Colourpacks Newington Nurseries in Sittingbourne, Kent.

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