“An issue that has been discussed is ‘Environmental credentials’ which is the buzzword in all industries at present. This motivated me into thinking, how does our industry shape up? We cannot ignore environmental issues as the future direction for our industry will be facing these challenges. Make sure your company is ready for these challenges.” (Extract from July newsletter -Arthur Stacey, President)
‘Environmental Credentials’ – response from Paul Bouchereau – General Manager, Plantscape Interiors, South Australia
Q. Are your service vehicles meeting the regulated standards?
Our service vehicles are fully kitted out and have a monthly Audit of lights /car/ tyres etc. etc. They are regularly serviced, and we have a reporting system if the Techs have any issues after using one.
Q. What does your company do with used plants?
All of our used stock is available to the general public, clients and their staff to purchase. We also have an auction house that we use to clear stock when there is a backup.
Q. What chemicals do you use?
All stock that comes into our indoor nursery has an initiator tablet inserted. We do not use any heavy chemicals at all, either within the nursery – or at our client premises. Treating disease on site is often far more expensive than rotating plants through and disposing of them via our plant sales etc. Every site is different, and each needs its own cost-benefit analysis on disease management. What works for us may not for others. We move seconds’ stock quickly so that contamination of our indoor nursery can’t happen. The seconds’ sale area is quarantined from our new stock. The only products we use is Natrasoap and Eucalyptus oil.
Q.Do you recycle old grow and decorator pots?
200mm, 250mm, 300mm nursery pots are all reused. All other sizes are taken by two charities that grow their own plants and have sales. If a plant dies on site and is swapped out, as long as it has no disease we have a second’s soil bin with a sieve on the top to separate the soil from root matter. This soil is also available at no cost to the general public.
Q. Do you have in place a schedule for the best times to spray for responsible chemical use?
Apart from cichlids on Lilly Pilly trees and a bit of black spot in our outdoor nursery we don’t have all that much disease. We have addressed most of these issue with best setups ups in the nursery and the focus on keeping plants healthy.
One of our clients has a huge internal atrium with a well-established Ficus. It has always had issues with scale and spider mite, instead of regular spraying we decided to focus more on the health of the tree to enable it to overcome the issues to see if we could find a happy medium. We worked on drainage, soil profile and nutrient supply both foliar and soil etc. to give the tree all that it needed to thrive, apart from initiator tabs once a year we do not use any other chemicals on it and it is thriving.
Q. Is your chemical inventory submitted to the building management for approval?
Anything we use has to be submitted to clients – even Mortein surface spray etc.
Q. Are your staff accredited to use chemicals?
We do not use any chemicals that require accreditation.
Q. What do you do with your waste from trimmings etc?
Our general waste goes into a large – bin that is emptied once a month. It’s called a comingle bin. The contents are sorted and less than 15% goes to landfill. All green waste is put in a separate greens bin which is emptied bi-weekly. The contents of this bin go to a local soil company that composts it and then uses it in both its soils and mulch.
We took on a company that already provided the service to other businesses in our location to minimise the carbon footprint of having a vehicle attend our site to empty the bins.