Govt must regulate if firms dither over peat phase out
17 January 2013
Ministers must regulate if the horticulture industry fails to take rapid steps to ensure the phase-out of peat-based products by amateur gardeners by 2020, Friends of the Earth said today [Thursday 17 January 2013].
The call follows today's Government response to a report by its Sustainable Growing Media Task Force, which was set up to advise Ministers on how to achieve their ambition for the horticultural sector to end peat-use by amateur gardeners by 2020 - and by all sectors by 2030 - through a voluntary partnership.
Friends of the Earth welcomes the Government's continuing ambition to phase out peat - and its £1million fund to help research into alternatives - but says that if the industry has not made sufficient progress by 2015, when the Government intends to review the situation, Ministers must compel firms to act.
Friends of the Earth's Policy and Campaigns Director Craig Bennett, who sat on the Sustainable Growing Media Task Force, said:
"Peat bogs in the UK and abroad are crucial wildlife habitats and store huge amounts of carbon - it's astounding that dinosaurs in the horticulture sector are still digging them up to use on our gardens.
"The Government's continuing ambition to phase-out peat is extremely welcome, but Ministers must make it clear they will regulate if firms fail to take immediate steps to make this happen.
"Forward thinking horticultural firms have already woken up to fact that their future lies in producing peat-free composts and safeguarding the precious environment we all rely on - the rest of the industry must follow suit."
Notes to editors:
1. Government's response to Sustainable Growing Media Task force
2. Sustainable Growing Media Task Force
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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Last modified: Jan 2013