Waitrose vows to stop selling peat compost next year

The supermarket chain has pledged to sell peat-free alternatives in a bid to encourage more customers to adopt more sustainable practices in their gardens

Big Zero Report 2023

Gardeners looking for compost made from peat will not be able to find it in Waitrose’s stores from the start of next year.

The supermarket chain has pledged to sell peat-free alternatives in a bid to encourage more customers to adopt more sustainable practices in their gardens.

That follows the recent government announcement to ban the sale of peat compost to amateur gardeners by the close of the current parliament in 2024.

According to official figures, the UK currently uses nearly three million cubic metres of peat every year for horticulture.

Nearly 69% of that is used by amateur gardeners and 30% is used by professional growers.

Recent research by the University of Leicester has estimated more sustainable management of peatlands could cut up to half a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Marija Rompani, Director of Ethics and Sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “If rainforests are the lungs of the world, then peat bogs are its armour, helping to create a vital balance in our atmosphere by storing over a fifth of the world’s soil carbon.

“Peat bogs have been plundered for decades without fully understanding the consequences and this simply cannot continue.”

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