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Petition Ban the sale of artificial grass

It is environmentally irresponsible to allow garden space occupied by grass & other plant life (which processes CO2 & supports wildlife) to be replaced by plastic which does not biodegrade.

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Natural Grass & Plants encourage a healthy ecosystem, capturing CO2.

Banning the sale of artificial grass could be a small step towards increasing the UK biodiversity, reducing our carbon footprint & helping our ever dwindling insect & wildlife population. Artificial grass:

1) Creates huge volumes of plastic
2) Can’t always be recycled
3) Can pollute soil with microplastics
4) Has a large carbon footprint
5) Contributes to flooding
6) Can overheat making artificial grass lawns unusable
7) Has NO wildlife benefit

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Government responded

This response was given on 8 June 2021

The Government has no plans to ban the use of artificial grass.

The relevant legislation and policy measures pertaining to this issue are devolved matters. This response is relevant to England.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. We are making great strides to tackle plastic pollution. The Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy for England, published in 2018, outlines the ways in which we will meet this ambition by taking action across each stage of the product lifecycle as we move towards a more circular economy:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/resources-and-waste-strategy-for-england

We know more needs to be done and for the most problematic plastics we are going faster. This is why we have committed to work towards all plastic packaging on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

We prefer to help people and companies make the right choice, rather than banning items outright. However, where progress is insufficient, we will explore alternative policy measures, which may involve bans as part of a wider strategic approach. For instance, in 2018, the Government introduced a ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and in October 2020, we introduced restrictions on the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

Furthermore, we have reduced the use of single-use carrier bags by the main supermarket retailers by 95% with our 5p charge. To build on the success of this charge, we have now increased it to 10p and extended it to all retailers. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and/ or materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products.

It is for local authorities to comply with the legal and policy safeguards in place to protect biodiversity and ensure sustainable drainage. The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (the NERC Act) requires all public authorities in England to have regard for conserving biodiversity in the exercise of their functions. Our most important designated sites and species are also protected under legislation.

The Government is introducing new requirements to maintain and enhance the natural environment in England. We are mandating biodiversity net gain in our landmark Environment Bill to ensure that new developments enhance habitats for biodiversity. Surfaces such as artificial grass are of no value to wildlife, so any developer or local authority seeking to demonstrate biodiversity net gain would be incentivised to avoid the use of such surfaces in their developments’ shared green spaces.

In addition, the Environment Bill strengthens the current NERC Act biodiversity duty on public authorities to require them to take action to conserve and enhance biodiversity; and introduces a reporting requirement for those public authorities with the greatest potential to enhance biodiversity. This will further incentivise public authorities to adopt approaches that improve the environment. We will also develop guidance to help local planning authorities identify actions they can take to comply with the strengthened duty.

Therefore, the Government has no plans to ban the use of artificial grass. We prefer to help people and organisations make the right choice rather than legislating on such matters. However, the use of artificial grass must comply with the legal and policy safeguards in place to protect biodiversity and ensure sustainable drainage, while measures such as the strengthened biodiversity duty should serve to encourage public authorities to consider more sustainable alternatives.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

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