The technology for making eco-friendly flower pots from recycled paper and processed pig dung is ready for commercialization, the Livestock Research Institute said yesterday.
“The solid and liquid parts of pig waste are first separated, then the methane gas processed. The remaining waste is then pressed and mixed with recycled paper pulp to make the flower pots,” said Cheng Chann-chiang (鄭鑑鏘), the institute’s chief secretary.
Because the materials are completely organic, farmers can raise plant seedlings in the pots and place them into the soil with the pot, Cheng said.
“This is unlike traditional farming, where farmers have to remove the plastic flower pots from the soil later. The organic nutrients in the flower pot also enhance the growth of the plants,” he said.
Besides pig dung flower pots, the institute has also mixed processed pig dung with polyethylene (PE) to make an organic PE cover, which can be used as an alternative to polyvinylchloride (PVC) covers currently used in farming, Cheng said.
“Farmers usually use PVC plastic sheets to cover their seedlings to keep moisture in and ward off insects,” Cheng said.
However, when farmers eventually take the plastic sheets off, they usually burn them, releasing dioxins, Chen said.
The organic PE cover eliminates the need for farmers to labor over removing the sheets because it can be completely decomposed, providing organic nutrients to the plants like the flower pots, he said.
“The pig dung PE sheets cost two to three times more than regular plastic sheets, so few farmers use it now,” he said.
“However, as soon as the government bans the use of PVC, these organic sheets will sell like hot cakes,” he said.