Are plastic flowerpots recyclable?

Dispose of flower pots correctly: plastic, clay & co

Flower pots can be damaged or lose their beautiful appearance. The residual waste bin is an obvious thought when it comes to disposal. But not every old flower pot belongs in it.


It all depends on the material

Flower pots all serve one purpose: to house plants, but their texture can be very different. The appearance and size of the pots do not play a decisive role in their disposal. It primarily depends on the material from which they are made. You should therefore know or find out what material you are dealing with before disposal. A standard flower pot is usually made from one of the following materials:

  • concrete
  • Wood
  • Ceramics
  • plastic
  • metal
  • Poly rattan
  • stone
  • volume

The materials listed are not always used in their pure form. Some are more and more often mixed with other substances in order to obtain certain desired properties. For example, the materials clay and fiberglass are hidden in planters made of fiberclay. The pots made from it are lighter and more durable and at the same time look natural.

Clay or ceramic

Clay and ceramics are of natural origin and can end up in the residual waste bin. If a pot is too bulky, it can also be brought to the recycling center. If the clay pot has been processed, for example painted, glazed or colored, it may contain substances such as heavy metals that do not end up in the residual waste. However, this is less the case with flower pots, and the usual household quantities are considered harmless. Those who want to be safe for the sake of the environment should bring such clay pots to the recyclable material as building rubble.

Tip: Clay pots are made of a natural material that can always be used meaningfully in the garden. For example, you can smash the pot and use the pottery shards as a drainage layer.

Plastic and poly rattan

Plastic pots can and should even be recycled. Polyrattan flower pots are also recyclable. A plastic flower pot is not a packaging and does not have a green dot on it, but it is still recommended to dispose of small amounts in the yellow bin or the yellow sack. Alternatively, pots made of plastic or polyrattan can also be brought to the recycling center.

Pots made of metal

Metal flower pots are neither residual waste nor do they belong in the yellow bin. Metal is a valuable element that can be reused. To do this, the pot has to be recycled. Bring metal pots to the recycling center and throw them in the metal scrap container. It doesn't matter whether the pot has already rusted.

Tip: Large amounts of scrap metal are usually picked up by local scrap dealers free of charge.Compared to disposal at the recycling center, this can save a lot of time. Usually a phone call is enough. The pots are simply put in front of the door at the agreed time.

Fiber composites

Fiber composites have the names Fibreclay, Fiberstone, Fiber Concrete, Polystone, among others. Recycling is currently not possible for them. Therefore, as practical as they are, their purchase must be viewed critically. Fortunately, they have a long shelf life, so that the environmental impact of the eventually unavoidable disposal is limited. If you have bought such a pot anyway and now have to dispose of it, you can use the residual waste bin for smaller quantities. Larger quantities are handed in at the recycling center.

Concrete, stone or wood

Anyone who has no other use for these materials can bring the flower pots to the disposal yard as construction waste. If possible, you can also burn wood at home. If the pots are still intact, they can also be resold. Old stone pots are particularly popular with lovers. Sometimes it doesn't matter if some of them are damaged.

Tip: Stone pots that have cracked in several parts can still be used as a pond border or as a border for herb beds.

Dispose of the flower pot - costs

Emptying the yellow bin is still free for everyone. There are disposal fees for the residual waste bin, but these are due anyway. Since the pots are not perishable, you can simply wait until the residual waste bin is not full. On the other hand, where fees may apply is the recycling center. You should therefore find out in good time which pots or which substances can only be handed in for a fee.

Check for reusability

In times of huge mountains of rubbish, it is important to avoid further rubbish. Therefore, do not dispose of a flower pot too quickly. Even if it no longer seems to be suitable for its original task, it can possibly be used for another purpose. Also check whether the following solutions are possible:

  • Cleaning dirty pots
  • if necessary, "research" for a suitable home remedy
  • Upcycling instead of recycling for pots that are faded or no longer modern
  • z. B. by a new coat of paint or a nice paint job
  • Repairing damaged pots
  • or another placement so that the unsightly spot becomes “invisible”

You can sell flower pots that you simply no longer need, but which are otherwise intact, online or at flea markets and maybe even raise enough money for a new pot. Of course, you can also give the pot to someone who can use it well and is happy about it.

frequently asked Questions

Can I get a clay pot ugly from lime stains clean?

Unsightly limescale deposits can be effectively removed with baking soda. Put the pot in a warm water bath for several hours. Add a teaspoon of baking soda per liter of water. After that, the last remaining limescale can be easily removed with a brush.

I have a pot made of wood and metal. How do I have to dispose of it?

The two materials have to be separated because the two substances are disposed of in different ways. If this is not possible for you with simple means, please take the pot to a recycling center. The two materials are then professionally separated and processed there.

Do I have to clean the flower pots before throwing them away?

Flower pots that end up in the residual waste do not have to be cleaned. Those that you dispose of in the yellow bin or take to the recycling center should at least be roughly cleaned. It also makes sense to either use the old potting soil or to put it in the organic waste bin.