Leading automation specialist Muller Technology has partnered with VistaTek to create a plant-based garden pot that is one of the first plantable and compostable pots for the garden market. The company provides the latest in-mold labeling (IML) technology to facilitate efficient manufacturing and high-volume production to support sustainable efforts. The unique garden product is certified to ASTM D6400 industrial composting standards. It is one of the first to contain plant nutrients which are incorporated into the plastic resin formulation.
VistaTek’s garden pot is polylactic acid (PLA) based, used by Proven Winners, one of North America’s largest domestic producers and a supplier to Big Box retailers and regional nurseries. The four-inch round pot, launched as the PW Eco Plus Grande range, will be commercially available to growers and retailers in spring 2022. “To compete in the global market, you need world-class partners and we we had the chance to collaborate. with Muller, whose manufacturing know-how and automation expertise have given us a head start,” said Danny Mishek, President of VistaTek. “They saw our vision and completed and supported our project, bringing us to the finish line.”
The VistaTek garden pot is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic, fiber and rice husk pots. This garden pot therefore offers major sustainability benefits to the garden industry. Garden enthusiasts can plant the pot in the ground, and it will compost without having to be pulled out of the ground. Nutrients are then mixed into the plastic to break down and nourish the plant, improving the overall growth potential. Mishek added that the herbal pot meets the needs of commercial growers who require less flimsy construction, pleasing aesthetics and functionality for the consumer. “This is a significant development in the garden industry, and we are excited about our partnership and the ability of our innovative IML technology to help VistaTek meet their high productivity needs,” said Taras Konowal. , Director of Sales and Marketing for Muller Technology. .
Mishek said automation played a major role in the success of the project. Brands saw the benefits that IML could bring because early labeling technologies were inconsistent, clunky, expensive and of poor quality. In addition, traditional label decoration techniques such as pad printing and screen printing are among the unsustainable methods. VistaTek developed its first garden pot in 2014 and it has since evolved with different materials and now added label decoration. The company has developed a special PLA formulation and a patented four-tab construction. Speaking of PLA, a PLA label is applied in the mold and the product is stacked on conveyors. IML equipment can scale to high-volume production while providing the flexibility to run other jobs on the same machine. VistaTek plans to produce other pot sizes for Proven Winners. The company will also sell its own herbal garden pots and glasses under the trade name SelfEco.