A new bill introduced to the Irish Seanad will allow the extraction of Irish peat for horticultural for a temporary period use after ‘no alternative to Irish peat could be found as a horticultural growing medium.’
The Horticultural Peat (Temporary Measures) Bill 2021, which was introduced by Senator Regina Doherty as part of a Just Transition, will end Irish horticulture’s reliance on expensive imported peat.
“Because of the ban (on peat extraction), producers have no option but to import peat from places such as Latvia. We have acres of peatland right here, with only 0.12 per cent of total Irish peatland required for the purposes of horticulture,” Doherty said. “As it stands, there are no alternatives to peat as a growing media that are available, affordable and sustainable.
She also said that importing peat has extremely high monetary and environmental costs and that the price paid by growers for foreign peat is much more expensive than what they would pay for Irish peat. “Time is of the essence here; every fortnight that we don’t have a solution to this issue another 3,600 tonnes of imported peat arrives onto our shores,” she added.