B&Q style 'choice editing' may work for peat

RHS principal scientist for horticulture Paul Alexander says a B&Q-style choice editing scheme could make the sustainable growing materials project he is chairing work for consumers.

Image: B&Q
Image: B&Q

The Growing Media Task Force includes several working parties, among them one on quality control and labelling, and has submitted a 'roadmap' to Defra to respond to by the end of the year on how to phase out peat.

Alexander said in his 12 years at the RHS this is the first time the industry has committed to a proposed plan to move forward for the benefit of all. His project team, made up of growers, manufacturers and the RHS, is making "quite good progress" weighing up products against environmental, social and economic criteria, but "until the Government reports back on the roadmap by the end of the year the industry is loathe to move forward until the Gov-ernment says yes".

He added: "We're conscious this is a crude tool to crack a horrendously complicated situation."

The system uses flow charts to hold each material up against and score on to see if they are more or less sustainable than other materials.

Alexander said: "This is the first time you can take a materials source into account - for instance, peat from a UK lowland raised bog that has a SSSI against Somerset Levels peat. You might end up showing one is more sustainable than the other, so there is a flexibility there.

"We're trying to reward the companies that go down the road of trying to find a more sustainable source of their stock than others - for instance, recycled wood against harvested planta- tion forestry."

Alexander added: "We would like an umbrella body such as GMA to take on these criteria and develop them into a more audited process, so manufacturers can hold up materials and compare x, y and z for better sustainability. This moves away from the notion about what we're putting in the bag to trying to make the whole industry more robust, using more sustainable materials."

He said the project would make materials consumers use more sustainable and suggested a logo or using the process B&Q used with FSC when 'choice editing'.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Bespoke apprenticeships and internal training are helping firms to get ahead in skills-shortage horticulture, says Rachel Anderson.

Tractors: market roundup

Tractors: market roundup

Manufacturers are working to provide solutions to many challenges. Sally Drury looks at their newest models.

Aster

Aster

Brightening up gardens in autumn, these daisies are seen as a gem in the gardener's arsenal, writes Miranda Kimberley.


Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Whether you voted leave or remain all those years ago, a "no-deal" Brexit should worry you.

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I find myself in a difficult situation. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be present to hear details of imminent changes to regulations concerning Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) and oak trees. I heard details, asked questions and probed the implications of these changes. That may not sound like a difficult position to be in, yet I am uneasy.

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Lobby groups jumping onto fashionable campaigns, often to promote their own interests, can do much more harm than good. Take, for example, the move against black polythene plant pots and containers.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

HORTICULTURE WEEK BUSINESS Awards 2019

The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles