Ending the Sale of Peat in Scotland

Overview —

A consultation response on ending the sale of peat in Scotland


Craig Dalzell

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While Scotland has a great deal of traditional and cultural linkages to the cutting of peat for heating and for growing, the demands of the climate emergency and the ecological damage caused by the mass extraction of peat does mean that the practice must end. Both the UK and Welsh Governments have announced their intention to ban peat for horticultural use by 2024 so it makes little to no sense for Scotland to not follow their lead in this respect and we support their intention to do so.

However we are concerned that the motivation for this transition has come from an ad hoc political decision rather than a more fundamental and strategic standpoint of ensuring that all goods and services in Scotland must transition to being compliant with Circular Economy principles and a recognition that the extraction of peat does not fit into these principles. This opens the possibility that a badly implemented ban merely shifts the ecological burden onto the replacements for that peat if they themselves are extracted in an unsustainable manner. This should and must be avoided in the final legislation.

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