PCR plant pots from TEKU® for agricultural research

Around 600,000 plant pots are needed annually for experiments in the greenhouses of BASF’s herbicide research station at the Limburgerhof Agricultural Center. The black polystyrene plant pots previously used there ended up in waste incineration after use.

This is now a thing of the past: BASF’s research department wanted an environmentally friendly alternative and relied on the cooperation with Pöppelmann TEKU®. The division of the Pöppelmann Group is, among other things, a supplier of plant pots made of 100 per cent PCR. The plastics specialists developed a special pot for BASF’s research, with which the material cycle is now closed.

TEKU® product management developed the right pot, which was optimally tailored to BASF’s requirements. It had to have a certain stability, be handled by robots, be easy to stack and unstack by machine, and be provided with a (water) resistant coding. One of the most important properties was the desired recyclability. The plant pot developed by TEKU® consists of 100 per cent PCR, i.e. post-consumer recycled material, which comes from the yellow bin, the yellow bag or other household recycling collections. It is manufactured in the individual colour Circular blue BASF. After use, the pots are collected at BASF, granulated by a specialist supplier and returned to Pöppelmann. Here, new recycled plant pots are made from the granulate, which go directly back to BASF Agricultural Research, thus closing the material loop. In this way, BASF saves up to 30 tonnes of disposable plastic per year. The successful result of the cooperation with Pöppelmann TEKU® for more sustainability also won the BASF sustainability competition #Plastic Challenge, with which the group awards internal projects that work to avoid and reduce as well as recycle plastic waste.

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