The UK's largest home and garden chain is still selling and using destructive peat products despite apparently supporting plans to phase them out.
Peat mining causes tremendous damage to the environment. Obviously, it destroys vital natural habitats, peat bogs being home to a great variety of rare plants and animals.
This is not all. Peat forms a carbon sink. Once a peat bog is drained, it releases the carbon into the atmosphere, adding to climate change and ocean acidification. It also releases methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas.
All this destruction is completely unnecessary. Using alternatives to peat is not even an inconvenience for gardeners, with peat-free potting compost and other products now being widely available. The only reason for B&Q selling peat is the profit margin. It is time the chain backed up its token support for a phase-out with real action.
We the undersigned ask that your chain end its sale and use of peat products. Although peat could be renewable at a very low level of exploitation, current practices are destroying crucial natural habitat and releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Peat is not necessary for domestic use, plenty of alternatives exist and the average gardener wouldn’t even notice the difference. The short-term profits are far outweighed by the environmental costs, not to mention that this doesn’t do B&Q's public image much good. Many of the potential customers involved are likely to be more aware than average of the true cost of peat. Action now would do wonders for your chain's image.
Since B&Q has stated that it supports a phase-out it is time to back this up with action, otherwise it looks like meaningless lip service. We ask that B&Q perform its own phase-out, rather than waiting for the government to force it, and completely stop selling or using peat products by the end of 2012.
Thank you for your attention.