The UK Government announced this week that the sale of peat and peat-containing products will be banned for use in the amateur gardening sector by 2024, in a bid to protect peatlands and the natural environment and reach their pledge of restoring 35,000 hectares of peatlands by 2025.
Evergreen Garden Care supports this peat ban and has been committed to reaching a peat-free deadline of 2024, for several years, with sustainability at the centre of its business responsibilities.
Transitioning to peat free has been a journey Evergreen has been leading in the gardening industry long before the official ban. Most recently, Evergreen Garden Care made a public commitment in 2021 to switch all products to peat free in under four years across its market-leading garden care brands Miracle-Gro and Levington.
Evergreen Garden Care has faced the challenges of rapidly becoming peat free for years, and setting the industry standard. This includes making actionable commitments to show the gardening industry that peat-free is the way forward. £7 million has been invested this year to increase its peat-free production capacity, which cemented its position as leading the peat-free roadmap. It is also consistently prioritising peat-free products, developing a full peat-free range to meet all gardening needs such as leading on ericaceous peat-free compost, and the launch of continued peat-free NPD.
Evergreen Garden Care announced the 2023 launch of its new John Innes Peat Free Range in June this year, which it will launch under the Levington brand, extending Evergreen Garden Care’s position as the market’s most comprehensive and high-quality peat-free range. This uses its own patented wood fibres in the composition to ensure the range performs as well – if not better – than peat-based compost. Evergreen Garden Care also encourages supporting the wider industry and is a key member of all official bodies driving a more sustainable future for growing media, including being a founding member of the Responsible Sourcing Scheme.
Evergreen Garden Care Managing Director, Mark Portman, says “We are dedicated to providing peat-free compost across both of our brands Miracle-Gro and Levington and adding to our high-quality range of sustainable products. It’s important to us to offer eco-friendly solutions to all customers, no matter the budget, which is part of our peat-free pledge. We will continue to lead the peat-free journey by example, both through product action and financial investment, brand communication and also through leading in education and discussion.
James Barnes, Chairman of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said: “This £7m investment by Evergreen Garden Care is good news for the horticulture industry and the environment. It’s an example of the great work that many of our compost manufacturer members are making to go peat free.
Evergreen Garden Care will continue its commitment to a peat-free transition, meeting the government’s deadline. Furthermore, Evergreen Garden Care joins the wider industry to advocate for access to a greater quantity and quality of alternative materials and policy barriers to be unlocked by the Government to enable an industry-wide transition to peat-free by 2024.