Soil substitute “not fit to bear ecological stamp”

Soil substitutes such as moss, peat and bark could soon go on sale with a European eco-label, even though they will add to the problem of waste going to landfill.

The European Environmental Bureau has slammed a revised version of the standards that growing media has to meet to merit an eco-label, because they will allow products to claim environmentally-friendly credentials even if they are made up entirely from virgin minerals.

Before these changes, growing media had to include a proportion of organic matter derived from waste or renewable material in order to bear the flower logo.

Melissa Shinn, EEB ecological product policy officer, said: “The revised criteria for growing media are not fit to bear the ‘ecological’ stamp of an eco-label.

“They don’t even support their own stated aims of increasing recycling and minimizing mining impacts, not to mention those of the resource efficient recycling society foreseen in the Thematic Strategies on Waste and Natural Resources.

“This decision threatens to undermine the credibility of the EU

Eco-label scheme, unnecessarily diluting the ambition level in efforts to ensure greater numbers of applicants.”

Jess McCabe

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