When thinking of compostable packaging you don’t automatically think of peat bogs but there is a link because if we replaced all 36 million tonnes of single use plastic disposed of every year in the UK with compostable packaging , this would create enough compost to completely replace the need for peat bog extraction ( we really don’t like peat extraction), let's not forget that nature created peat bogs as a carbon sponge so every-time you extract peat you release tonnes of carbon into the environment.
The following shows the environmental benefits from ending peat extraction.
- Peat bogs account for only 3% land mass of the UK and yet they hold 20 times more carbon than all the forest in the UK combined.
- Extraction and draining of peat bogs releases 630,000 tonnes of Co2 into the environment ( the same as the Co2 generated by all the houses in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Leeds combined).
- The UK may be a small country but it contains 13% of the worlds bogs and has the biggest opportunity for benefits from ending extraction in the world , even more than Indonesia which has had a lot of media attention due to their peat bog fires.
- 75% of the UK water comes from an upland source and upland peat bogs naturally filter drinking water.
- 435kg if carbon is stored in each square meter of peat bogs.
- Peat bog drainage and extraction add over 5% of the UK Co2 emissions.
- Peatland hold 30% of the estimated 1500pg (picogram) of global soil carbon.
- Europe peatlands have reduced by 48% in 200 years .
- Each year we extract 106 million cubic feet of compost for horticulture.
- Peatlands are renewable, however the renewal rate is 1mm per year, so it will repair itself if we stop extracting from it.