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Country News - 2004

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Supermarkets, garden centres fail peat promises

Monday 26 April 2004

BRITAIN'S supermarkets, which came under a series of attacks from rural organisations last week (see News) are at the centre of a new row today, this time with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The RSPB has been campaigning for some 20 years to stop the widespread use of peat at a garden growing medium because peat bogs, both here and in Ireland, are almost worked out – and the few that remain are important habitats for many species of wild birds.

However, the results of a survey published last week show that supermarkets chains Safeway – just taken over by Bradford-based Morrison's - and Asda, plus thousands of garden centres, are still selling peat in large quantities.

"Many retailers are paying no more than lip service to government targets for eliminating peat use in garden products," says the RSPB, which backed the survey along with Friends of the Earth.

The report does, however, deliver a pat on the back to DIY stores and B&Q in particular, for reducing their sales of peat.


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