Compost is typically heavy, damp and usually stored outside at garden centres. So the packaging needs to be strong and resilient. At Melcourt we have been searching for alternatives to plastic but we and other manufacturers are yet to find anything that matches the efficiency of plastic.
We currently incorporate 30% of recycled plastic into our packaging and are hoping to increase this to 50% in the coming months – the restrictions on this being that recycled plastic is harder to work with and its impurities interfere with the print quality. But our plastics supplier is working hard to overcome the technical challenges and we will increase the recycled content as swiftly as we can.
In the meantime, back in 2019 we introduced the Melcourt Bag for Life. This is an award-winning reusable bag that can be purchased at participating garden centres. Once emptied customers can return for refills – the Bag, being strong and long-lasting can be used over and over again. The garden centre buys large bales of SylvaGrow which use far less plastic than individual wraps. Indeed the customer only has to use the Bag for Life twice for less plastic overall to have been used.
If there isn’t a Bag for Life-participating garden centre near you then SylvaGrow bags can have many other functions in the garden, such as storage of canes, hanging basket or terracotta pot liners, receptacles for garden waste on its way to the green waste facility, solid mulch for weed suppression in no dig systems, lining of a new bog garden (as demonstrated by Monty Don on Gardeners’ World earlier this year) – the list goes on so do retain the bags for future use. And let us know what your most unusual use of an old SylvaGrow bag was!
You can locate participating garden centres on our website at https://melcourt.co.uk/where-to-buy/
The Bag for Life also has many other uses around the garden in-between being used to bring more SylvaGrow home – for example ours have been used to transport wedding flowers and to bring the allotment harvest home.