Garden Centre Group drops polystyrene ban

The Garden Centre Group (formerly Wyevale Garden Centres) is believed to have dropped one of its central tenets of environmental policy that the 120-centre group introduced just a year ago.

A grower, who did not want to be named, said the company was now taking orders for bedding delivered in expanded polystyrene trays rather than the alternatives Wyevale demanded in September 2008 as part of its Plan Apple greening regime.

Sustainable Development Commission member Dr Alan Knight, who introduced Plan Apple when he was the group's sustainability director, said: "Having not been involved in Wyevale for over a year I do not know the reason why this decision has been made.

"The environmental rationale and commercial case was positive and I see no reason why that would have changed. There are not many other industries where the growing interest in environment is nothing but good news, so let's be careful and not score silly own-goals."

Garden writer Peter Seabrook explained: "This will have removed a block to getting plants locally. More growers will be available to Wyevale because some compost-filling machines are designed to take only expanded polystyrene."

Knight's "10 commandments" were: rediscovering the local community, connecting with the source of food, working with nature, encouraging carbon-positive gardening, ensuring supply chains benefit everyone, protecting endangered forests, working towards peat-free gardening, using less water, aiming towards zero waste and inspiring personal well-being and sustainable lifestyles.

The Garden Centre Group would not comment.


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