- REA will respond to Government’s upcoming consultation on banning peat products for general use and phasing out the use of peat across all horticultural sectors
- Potential to use considerably more composted plant and food waste to produce high and consistent quality composts suitable for supply to growing media manufacturers
The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) have welcomed the publication of the Government’s England Peat Action Plan.
Announced by Environment Secretary George Eustice on 18th May, the use of peat in compost* could be banned under new plans to boost the government’s drive to reach net zero by 2050.
Recognising that a voluntary approach has not delivered, government will launch a consultation this year on banning the sale of peat and products that contain peat in the amateur horticulture sector by the end of this parliament and phasing out the use of peat and moving to alternatives for other commercial sectors, e.g. professional horticulture.
Jenny Grant, the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology’s (REA) Head of Organics and Natural Capital, said:
“The REA warmly welcomes publication of the Government’s England Peat Action Plan and commitment to consulting this year on banning the sale of peat and peat products for general use and phasing out its use in all horticultural sectors.
“There is potential to use considerably more composted plant and food waste to produce high and consistent quality composts suitable for supply to growing media manufacturers in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and with the right policy drivers Government can help all the relevant industries make valuable and sustainable contributions towards our Net Zero targets.”
In 2017, the UK and Republic of Ireland’s major growing media manufacturers used nearly 227,000 tonnes of commercially composted plant materials (‘Green Compost’) when manufacturing their peat free and reduced-peat-content growing media (e.g. potting and multipurpose composts) and soil improvers. These represented 8.1 % of the total 2.79 million tonnes of growing media and soil improvers supplied by those manufacturers.
The REA has numerous members who produce compost and other members who have trialled and/or are interested in supplying dewatered, matured, fibre digestates (made from suitable input materials) for use as bulky substrates in growing media. Nearly 1.6 million tonnes of quality composts** were produced in England in 2019. More of these composts could be used for replacing and reducing peat use in growing media in future.
Government is currently consulting on ‘Consistency in household and business recycling in England’ which, amongst other things, is expected to drive up the separate collection of food wastes, the separate collection of garden/plant wastes and allow the co-collection of these waste streams where technically, environmentally and economically practical. This represents an opportunity to produce more composts that are suitable for use in growing media and in bagged soil improvers.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Jack Abbott, PR and Communications Manager,
07862 038370/ [email protected]
Notes to editors:
*In this context, compost means growing media, many of these being peat-based or a mixture of peat and other bulky substrates. It may also mean soil improvers, some products for amateur/hobby gardening being peat-based.
**Waste-derived composts that meet national End of Waste rules and which can be used as products or in other manufactured products in designated markets, including field scale, professional and amateur horticulture markets.
About the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA)
The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (known as the REA) is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, power and the Circular Economy. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation representing fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders.