Peat has its benefits – it’s absorbent, good for acid-loving plants and resistant to compaction. However, the process of harvesting peat is hugely damaging to the environment.
Peatlands include bogs and fens, and they’re unique habitats for a diverse range of plant and animal species. Peat has a very slow accumulation rate, as little as 1mm per year, so when it’s harvested these habitats are degraded and take a long time to regenerate. Peatlands also trap carbon dioxide. When the layer of CO2 absorbing plants is lost, CO2 produced by the peat itself is released into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.