SAY ‘NO’ TO PLASTIC GRASS & PLANTS
Garden by Joe Perkins MSGD. Image Natalia Odescalchi
The biodiversity of our planet is under threat like never before. Over the last 50 years, wildlife populations have plunged by more than two thirds (69%), with numbers of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects plummeting in countries across the globe. Amongst these, the UK ranks as one of the most nature-depleted countries in Europe.
Loss of natural habitats caused by the decline in the quality of our gardens and green spaces and the loss of ‘green corridors’ in our cities, is one of the main reasons for this rapid depletion.
Over recent years the huge growth in the use of plastic grass and plants has exacerbated this to an alarming degree. One in ten households in the UK have replaced their garden’s natural lawn with artificial grass, with devastating effects on both the environment and biodiversity. Not only do these products contribute to habitat loss; they also cause plastic pollution, destroy living soil, leak microplastics into waterways, cause flooding, contribute to urban heat islands due to the amount of heat they retain and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in their production.
Following on from the commitments in our Manifesto for Sustainable Landscape and Garden Design, the Society of Garden Designers is campaigning to raise awareness of the extreme environmental damage caused by plastic grass & plants and to encourage both the landscape industry and the public to say ‘no’ to using it, with the support of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Landscape Institute (LI).
Whether you’re a garden designer, landscaper or thinking about laying artificial turf in your own garden, the SGD’s “Say No to Plastic Grass & Plants” campaign will debunk the claims that these products are harmless and provide ideas and advice on using beautiful, natural solutions instead.
The SGD actively discourages its members from specifying these products in their designs and has banned advertising and sponsorship of them from its publications and events since 2019. In 2022 the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) banned all plastic grass and plants from its shows and events inspiring everyone to grow plants for the many benefits and enjoyment they provide us and the natural world.
As part of the “Say No to Plastic Grass & Plants” campaign, The SGD has produced a leaflet, including FAQs, an extensive list of the detrimental effects the products have on the environment and suggestions for ‘green’ alternatives to help garden designers, landscapers and garden owners consider different options.
You can read more about the campaign and download the leaflet here.
To find a designer who says ‘no’ to plastic grass & plants, look out for the campaign banner on our members’ websites, or to display the banner on your own website and show your support for the campaign, download it here:
For further information on natural lawns and lawncare watch our webinars produced in partnership with the London College of Garden Design here:
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