Malcolm Marshall, General Manager – Compost, Veolia UK, comments on the United Kingdom government’s recent announcement of a new consultation on the phasing out of peat.
If the UK is to meet its net zero targets we must protect our precious peatlands which retain carbon at a huge scale.
Unfortunately the voluntary phasing out of peat scheme did not work as we are still seeing a large amount of it being used in compost around the country. The new consultation is a welcomed step and the speed with which it is being undertaken shows the importance the government sees in protecting this valuable resource.
But it isn’t just the UK’s peat that needs protecting as a country we also import millions of tonnes of peat from abroad, making us culpable for peat devastation beyond our borders. This has to stop.
We believe the solution is in our hands with peat free compost made from green garden waste collected from households the way forward. Green waste will become available in increasing quantities with the prospect of it becoming free to collect and on a more regular basis as pledged in the Government’s Resources and Waste strategy.
Through The Veolia Environmental Trust we have also donated around £800,000 to work including preserving scarce peat bogs to prevent carbon impact and provide a unique and diverse habitat for wildlife.