What happened until now?
What happened internationally
England is leading the way in banning peat. A voluntary phasing-out scheme was introduced in 2011, aimed at phasing out peat until 2020. As with many voluntary schemes, it has given the market some push, but not enough. That is why the government has imposed a peat ban for private customers from 2024, the professional market will follow later.LINK)
More countries have introduced peat reduction strategies: Norway, Ireland, Flanders (Belgium) and Germany (see Hirschler study, p.8). Switzerland is currently the strictest country, aiming at a peat ban for the private and professional markets (LINK).
What Happened In The Netherlands Until Now?
*** BREAKING NEWS : CONVENANT SIGNED ***
18th November 2022: Netherlands becomes the 6th country in the world with an official peat reduction strategy for the substrate sector! We are honoured to be one of the signing parties of this groundbreaking agreement and will be part of this process as member of the steering group.
The Netherlands is the biggest peat importer in the EU. Until recently, there was hardly any awareness of this ecological vandalism.
After years of hibernation, the subject was quickly picked up again in 2021!
- Inspired by the British peat ban, Karin wrote an article in Het Parool…
- ... followed by a radio interview for Vroege Vogels.
- A parliamentary enquiry by PvdD explicitly referred to this interview.
- We had direct contact with MPs Derk Boswijk (CDA) and Laura Bromet (GroenLinks), who handed in a motion about the possibility of a peat ban. The motion was accepted with a whopping 80%, with only the parties of the extreme right voting against it.
- Recently, we were interviewed by Trouw…
- ... and Tuin en Landschap for articles about peat...
- ... and by omroep gelderland for a tv interview and an article..
- Karin wrote an article for Groei & Bloei.
- Philipp wrote an article for the Volkskrant…
- ... and we were named in the Libelle.
- We signed the Peat Convenant! This even reached the international press. See this article in the German trade journal taspo.
- Karin gave her second interview for the radio show Vroege Vogels (interview starts at 50:43)
- Karin wrote an article for OASE.
- We wrote an article for The Optimist, in which we are describing the convenant.
- The convenant is mentioned in many journals and newsletters. We´re happy that we could notify the German trade journal taspo and in the newsletter of NL Greenabel about this contract.
- For this article , Karin was interviewed by RTLnieuws.
- For this article in Het Financieele Dagblad several convenant parties and we have been interviewed.
- Philipp was interviewed by Greenity about the Dutch peat convenant (photo of the article, there is no preview available)
The subject has already received a lot of publicity: see also articles by:
By now, most larger shops offer at least one peat-free alternative.
What are the next steps on our path to sustainable growing media?
A lot has happened in the Dutch world of growing media since we first showed our face in May 2021. What are the next steps we as turfvrij.nl and the relevant industries could aim for?
Sourcing of raw materials
At the moment we are not using all bio-waste well enough.
The main competitor for these materials is the combustion of biomass for energy generation. Removing subsidies for such dirty and low value processes will make more of these valuable materials available to the growing media industry.
International agreements are crucial to achieving a peat ban without tilting the playing field
There are good and bad instruments to nudge the industry and consumers towards sustainable alternatives to peat. Therefore, international agreements are essential tools for creating a policy environment that doesn't disadvantage the domestic horticultural sector.
New markets for peat: a chance for the industry, a disaster for the environment
Outside of Europe and Northern America, peat is not widely used yet. Introducing an environmentally damaging practice into markets that are doing perfectly well without peat would aggravate the problems we discussed here. We can't forbid others to enjoy the convenience of peat while we're using it ourselves. Therefore, we Europeans have to lead by example and phase out peat before it becomes a truly global commodity.
See this article about China weighing into the peat business, potentially reaching 50 times the size of the Dutch market!