The Chelsea Flower Show bans artificial turf for the first time in over a decade

The Chelsea Flower Show has banned the use of artificial grass from this year’s show because it goes against their stance against plastic.

It comes after the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) announced it will ban artificial grass from the shows from 2022, following a dispute with John Lewis and artificial turf company Easigrass last year.

Easigrass used the Chelsea Flower Show gold medal last year to promote its product in John Lewis stores. The RHS said medal wins should not be used in advertising as they are not endorsements.

Artificial grass was first allowed at the annual show in 2010 when it was used in a Chelsea garden design with a cave that was “very dark and wouldn’t support plants”.

However, RHS has always advocated using real plants on the show instead of artificial grass and flowers.

Ed Horne, communications director at RHS, said The times: “We launched our sustainability strategy last year and artificial grass just doesn’t fit our ethos and our views on plastic.

“We recommend using real grass for its environmental benefits, which include supporting wildlife, reducing flooding and cooling the environment.”

Artificial grass sales skyrocketed in 2020 during the coronavirus lockdown, with Google reporting a 185 percent increase in searches in May 2020 compared to the same month last year.

However, conservationists and environmental campaigners have protested the use of artificial turf as it increases plastic production and destroys British wildlife habitat.

Chris Packham, presenter of the BBC Spring Watch Program, in a tweet last year, criticized gardeners who use artificial grass.

He said that artificial turf creates a “dreary plastic wasteland,” adding sarcastically, “We haven’t found any rest in nature in our gardens over the past year, have we? No, so just rip it open and live in Barbie’s Lego land [sic] then.”

S*** Lawns, a Twitter account aiming to “showcase the abhorrent trend of plastic turf,” has launched petitions to urge the UK government to ban artificial turf for residential use and impose an “environmental damage tax” on the product to raise.

The petitions gathered 7,339 and 11,319 signatures respectively.

However, in response to a similar petition last year that garnered 32,731 signatures, the UK government said it had “no plans to ban the use of artificial turf”.

The petition states, among other things, that plastic turf can lead to microplastics polluting the soil below, creates huge amounts of plastic and has no benefit to wildlife, among other reasons for the ban.

But the Government said: “We prefer to help people and businesses make the right choices, rather than banning items outright.

“However, if progress is insufficient, we will consider alternative policy measures that may include bans as part of a broader strategic approach.” The Chelsea Flower Show bans artificial turf for the first time in over a decade

Fry Electronics Team

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