Programmes offer guidance to garden retailers on phase-out of peat

The Waste & Resources Action Programme is funding two schemes to help garden retailers reduce peat.

The two programmes, being run by sustainability consultant Newleaf, aim to help businesses develop a plan to reduce their peat use, in line with Defra's 2020 target for the amateur gardening market and the work being done by the sustainable growing-media task force.

"The first programme talks multiple retailers and garden centre groups through all the impacts peat has on their business," said Newleaf founder Charles Drewe. "It looks at the peat they are directly responsible for and indirect impacts such as peat used by manufacturers.

"This can give options for reduction. Some are straightforward and would be quick wins, while others would be long-term projects."

The second scheme will involve hands-on training for smaller garden centres. "It will enable 10 businesses in England and 10 in Scotland to take part," said Drewe.

"The workshops will look at alternatives available and the dilutants. We will be promoting good practice and won't make a judgement on products. We will look at the way they can be used and the benefits of each one.

"We will provide information so that they can explain things to customers - for example, why green waste is so much heavier than coir." The schemes will run until March next year.

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