The retail sale of peat in horticulture will end in Wales, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced.
Today’s announcement follows a public consultation which shows 92% of Welsh respondents supported an overall ban of the sale of peat compost.
Whilst there is no current peat extraction in Wales, today’s action will be crucial in protecting Welsh peatlands in the future. Preventing sales of peat containing products is also in line with the Well-being of Future Generations Act commitment to be globally responsible.
Peatlands are the UK’s largest stores of carbon, support key habitats and species, and can hold large volumes of water.
When peat is extracted, the carbon stored inside the bog is released as carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change.
Peat extraction also degrades the state of the peat mass which threatens biodiversity.
It is primarily extracted in the UK for horticultural purposes, with bagged retail growing media accounting for 70% of the peat sold in the UK.
A ban will end greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction and use of peat domestically and be key in meeting the Welsh Government’s Net Zero targets.
The Welsh Government will now work with the UK Government on next steps to implement the ban in Wales.
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said:
“Our peatlands are iconic, and today’s announcement will be key in protecting and restoring them for future generations and supporting the work of the National Peatland Action Programme.
“Carbon dioxide emissions from peat extractions has an impact on climate change and introducing a ban on the retail sale of peat in horticulture will make a real difference.
“The consultation showed strong support for banning peat sales in Wales and we will now work to implement a ban as soon as is practically possible.”