Iceland has announced that from the end of the month it will permanently ban the sale of peat-based compost from its stores, in response to a campaign by The Wildlife Trusts.
This commitment comes as the government announces that sales of peat compost to gardeners will be banned from 2024 and follows the backing of an ambitious plan by Wildlife Trusts Wales to restore all Welsh peatlands by 2030 by Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation in February this year.
The UK’s peatlands store three times as much carbon as its forests. The sale of peat-based compost is one of the reasons that over 80% of peatlands are damaged, so emit carbon instead of storing it. The urgency of the situation is why Iceland is acting now, not in 2024.
Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland and Wildlife Trust Ambassador said: “Our peatlands store three times as much carbon as the nation’s forests and are home to some of our rarest species so it’s vital that we protect them. I am proud to say we’re taking action now and will no longer be selling peat-based compost in any of our stores, as of the end of this month. We invite other major retailers to follow suit – there is no reason to wait until 2024 to take action.”
Craig Bennett, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts said “Peatlands are vital carbon stores and wildlife habitats, and it’s absolutely crucial that they remain intact to help us tackle climate change. The Government’s announcement to end the sales of peat compost was welcome though the proposed timeline – to enforce the ban by 2024 – is disappointing.
“Our peatlands are simply too precious to be dug up and used for compost anymore, and the use of peat in gardens must end this year. We’re pleased to see Iceland making much more timely commitments and urge other retailers to follow suit, rather than waiting for the ban to take effect.”