February 2009
B&Q discontinue Peat Bales

Leading home improvement retailer B&Q is helping householders make their gardens greener and more sustainable by discontinuing the sale of 100% peat bales in its stores.

B&Q's press release states:
"Peat takes thousands of years to form, at a rate of 1mm a year. The harsh reality is that 90% of peat bogs in the UK have been destroyed and peat lands have been designated a priority habitat for protection. Due to the extremely slow growth of peat it cannot be considered sustainable. If peat continued to be used at the current rate it will disappear completely by 2040 which could spell the end of the wildlife that live in naturally occurring peat bogs.

Award-winning garden designer and TV presenter Chris Beardshaw is championing B&Q's decision to stop selling 100% peat bales, saying," Many gardeners use peat because they think they need it and don't understand the damage caused by peat extraction. There are lots of alternative ways to enrich soil, from making your own compost to the wide range of peat free products available. Stunning gardens that are brimming with colour and life certainly don't need to come at the price of the wider environment".

The decision to stop selling 100% peat bales follows a long history of sustainability at B&Q and shows the company's ongoing commitment to reducing its environmental impact. The commitment includes making it easy and affordable for gardeners to do the same.

Rebecca Castle, B&Q's assistant buyer for Garden Care says, " We want to help our green-fingered customers create beautiful spaces in their gardens in ways that don't harm the wider environment. As well as eliminating 100% peat bales from our stores, we are also launching new peat free compost alternatives which are clearly labelled to help people make an informed choice. We continue to ensure that the price of peat free products is aligned to peat based, so there's no financial barrier to buying it and we're continuing to work with all our suppliers to further reduce the amount of peat we included in those composts where peat is still an ingredient.

Horticultural Coir Ltd is an active member of the Growing Media Association of UK and the Horticultural Trades Association and The Commercial Horticulture Association.