Recycling and minimising waste


  • We have introduced a plastic plant pot and plant tray recycling service for customers. This is located at our compost drive-thru, more details can be found in our newspost
  • In our plant production nursery, we are replacing black plastic (which is not recyclable) with other colours, which can be put into kerbside recycling where possible. This is a phased approach as we run out of black plastic pots and trays. Look out for recyclable taupe, grey, green, purple and blue pots, as well as terracotta on the outside and coloured on the inside. Our suppliers are also working hard to switch to recyclable plastic. Recently, the supply of plastic pots has been difficult and we have reluctantly on occasion been given no option but to return to using black plastic pots as a last resort.
  • Our customer carrier bags are biodegradable and cost 10p. We also have a bag for life.
  • Our plastic packaging and general waste is collected by a local waste management company that sort and recycle as much as possible
  • Plastic plant pots are sent away to be recycled when they reach the end of their life.
  • We use paper straws in our coffee shop and restaurant.
  • Many greetings cards are now plastic free, with no unnecessary sleeve.
  • We have extended our range of eco propagation products – including bamboo and recycled pots, paper pot making device etc.
  • We are no longer selling outdoor ready to use feeds, as the concentrates are easy to use and use less plastic.


  • Cardboard boxes from packaging are recycled by offering them to customers at the tills, to package their plants and products in.
  • All additional cardboard is sent for recycling.

Other materials

  • Pallets, which many of our goods arrive on, go back to be reused where possible·
  • We buy in many plants which come on metal trolleys which are reused by our suppliers·
  • Plant waste is made into compost, and used on site in flower beds·
  • We are using signs to actively encourage customers to make more sustainable purchases in-store which includes cutting down on plastic.

Saving electricity, water and fuel

  • We have recently installed solar panels that are estimated to produce 115,000KWh annually. That’s the equivalent of the power needed for 40 average homes.
  • An Air Source Heat Pump system has been installed to provide underfloor heating for the main shop area, garden shop and Coffee Shop & Restaurant. This has significantly reduced our CO2 emissions compared to the old oil-fired boilers.
  • We put our store and car park lighting on timers or motion sensors, so that they only come on when needed (and when it is dark)·
  • We have converted the majority of our light fittings to LED to reduce our energy usage·
  • Our production area is carefully monitored by computer and we keep plants which need heat altogether in the same greenhouse(s) so we can heat as little space as possible·
  • We replace leaky hoses and equipment to reduce loss of water from leaks, and use irrigation systems for our trees and hanging baskets, which are extremely efficient·
  • We use captured rainwater to irrigate our houseplants as much as possible
  • We have installed cycle racks for customers and staff, which are very well used, and there is a bus stop outside·
  • Our newest buildings have provision for rainwater capture in the future

Product and food sourcing

  • We grow all our own bedding and basket plants, and some pot plants and perennials, accounting for around one third of the plants we sell. These are grown on site so there is no fuel needed to transport them, and we only grow what we need so we minimise waste
  • We source as many plants and products as we can from British nurseries and suppliers – look out for the ‘British Grown’ signs.
  • We avoid products which are low quality, and which will end up in landfill
  • All the food in our coffee shop is home cooked on site every day. We use local ingredients as much as we can, including meat, fish, vegetables and bread
  • Many of our garden furniture suppliers are part of the Made Aware scheme, which enables members of the LOFA (Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association) to progressively improve the environmental and social impacts of the products they sell. Look out for the made aware symbol on several of the garden furniture items we sell.
  • We buy products in bulk, to reduce the number of deliveries
  • We will introduce new ranges of organic plants and products into our product ranges as they become available to us
  • We are actively looking for new products to help our customers recycle and garden organically

Perrywood FSC Policy

  • We only sell wooden goods from reputable companies that source sustainable wood
  • Many of our products contain the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) logo which guarantees the wood used has come from forests managed with consideration for people, wildlife and the environment, and that the trees harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally
  • At Perrywood we are striving towards all wooden products carrying the FSC logo

Perrywood Peat & Sustainable Growing Media policy

We offer our customers a wide range of growing media (or, as you may call it – compost!) and are committed to using and selling the best quality products. Sustainability is important, and because peatlands are precious habitats that safely store carbon underground, we are actively working to reduce the amount of peat we use and sell. We also want to ensure that any peat replacements have been sustainably sourced.

  • In 2023 customers will find we almost exclusively sell peat-free composts after encouraging customers to switch in recent years. We advise on getting the best from peat-free compost through in-store signage and online ‘How tos’.
  • We have already reduced the peat content in the mix we use for our Perrywood Grown plants from 30% non-peat to 50%. We are committed to becoming completely peat-free in the future and are working on ways to use peat-free whilst maintaining plant quality and ensuring alternatives have been sustainably sourced.

Plant Health

We only work with reputable suppliers from across the UK and Europe. All take risks to plant health very seriously and comply with legislation around Xylella and other live issues. We take the lead from our trade organisation The Horticultural Trades Association.

We are working towards complying with the new Plant Passporting legislation.

We have highly skilled Plant Area and Nursery teams, who work hard to monitor for pests and diseases, and to ensure that the right steps are taken should anything be identified as a risk.


We encourage and help customers to attract wildlife to their gardens; through a range of ‘how to’ guides, in-store hints and tips and extending product ranges. There are plants and products to help birds, insects and mammals to thrive. Read our latest ‘How to’ guides.

We are working with Marks Hall to encourage people to plant more trees, in a way which enhances the local environment.

We are working with Beth Chatto Gardens and Essex Wildlife Trust to encourage planting for biodiversity. We plan to co-host workshops where people can get hints and tips on small changes they can make in their own gardens and outdoor spaces.

Working in partnership is key to addressing the world’s biggest climate change issues.

In Tiptree:

  • We own Perry’s Wood, adjacent to the garden centre, and actively encourage wildlife by planting trees, leaving piles of dead wood for insects and mammals, nest boxes, planting wild flowers (snowdrops, primulas). We have seen owls, muntjac deer, hares and more…
  • We have mixed native plants in hedges at the edges of our site, which are very beneficial for wildlife
  • We have kept many trees and hedges on site
  • Our plant area is a great habitat for many types of bird and animal, and we regular see robins, blackbirds, frogs and toads. Each spring we see birds nesting in our trees, shrubs and buildings
  • We have four ponds on site, which are home to frogs, fish, toads, numerous insects and birds
  • We are a corporate member of the Essex Wildlife Trust, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Butterfly Conservation Trust
  • We have a full programme of natural pest control in our production area, reducing the need for pesticides

In Sudbury:

  • We have commissioned ecology reports for the whole site, and use these to work closely with ecologists when making any changes.
  • For example, a maternity bat roost was found in an asbestos building. In order to demolish the building we have built a new bat roost in another building, so they have somewhere to come back to.
  • Our longer term plans include numerous initiatives to maintain and improve biodiversity.

Supporting the community

  • We employ around 200 people from our local areas (Tiptree and Sudbury)
  • We have three charities we are actively supporting in 2023: Hope for Tomorrow, Abberton Rural Training and Greenfingers Charity
  • We regularly donate raffle prizes to charities, clubs and schools
  • We can be booked for talks on the ‘History of Perrywood’
  • We love working with schools, to encourage young people to get into gardening
  • We attend local careers events, to support job seekers

Reducing use of pesticides and weed killers

At Perrywood we pay considerable attention to pest control to ensure our methods minimise any risk to human health and the environment.

In our greenhouses our first methods of control are good plant health and biological controls (using insects). We do resort to using pesticides when this is not adequate, and to ensure that plants are healthy and pest-free when they head out into your homes and gardens.

We adopt an integrated pest management program which combines biological, cultural and chemical pest control methods. This approach aims to keep the need for chemical controls to a minimum. Any chemicals we use have been fully tested and approved under EU and UK law and are only applied by highly trained staff.

We are fully supportive of any research that provides scientific evidence relating to the use of pesticides, including the use of neonicotinoids. We continue to be guided by the HTA on all matters associated with pesticide use.

To combat weeds, we use a range of options from hand weeding, mulching and weed mats, through to using targeted weedkillers for larger problem areas. It’s something we are continually reviewing.

We welcome your ideas!

If you have an idea of how we can further reduce the impact our business has on the environment please let us know by emailing