By Jess Price
The Wildlife Trusts are lobbying for a national ban on sales of peat. In 2011, retailers were asked to stop selling peat-based products - but they haven’t. The Government said that if voluntary targets were missed, it would step in with a ban. It is time for this to happen!
We are also encouraging everyone to take the pledge to go peat free. But how do you know if your compost is peat free?
One of the best ways to be certain is to make your own compost, but I realise that this takes time and space that not everyone has access to. So if you are buying compost, you need to look at the labels.
On the front of the pack
If it says ‘peat free’ across the front like this, then that’s a good sign:
However, it’s not always advertised across the front. If the bag just says multi-purpose compost then flip it over and check the labelling on the back.
On the back of the pack
There are a few different ways of labelling peat content, so you might need to take a close look. Here are some examples:
^ You can see the 0% box highlighted above - there's no peat in this compost
^ This pack has a blue dial on it which clearly states there is no peat inside, with a large 0%
^ The green labelling above looks promising at first glance but actually indicates the compost inside is about 90% peat - one to avoid
^ Don't be fooled by the green tick on this compost packaging, it does contain peat
^ This compost is very clearly labelled and does contain a significant amount of peat - so is not a sustainable option
Peat free compost should be available at all garden centres but if you can't find any, do ask. If it's not already in a prominent position, multiple enquiries might prompt a better display of peat free products. And if the shop doesn't (yet) stock peat free compost, asking for it helps demonstrate consumer demand.
Does your local garden centre stock peat free compost? Let us know in the comments.