Disposal is a time-bomb waiting to explode in Britain

Where do you stand when it comes to plastic or natural grass lawns? Are you for the artificial version like influencer Mrs Hinch or go for the real thing like naturalist Chris Packham?

It’s a debate that will polarise opinions as the environmental argument about the use of plastic ‘grass’ versus the natural version becomes more widespread. Britain’s leading grass seed supplier has waded in with a warning that disposing of plastic grass is potentially harmful to the environment.

Mrs Hinch told her followers that she selected plastic grass for her 84 m square garden whilst naturalist Chris Packham has labelled people who install fake grass as “idiots” because of its impact on wildlife. TV gardener, Carol Klein, recently told a national newspaper that “the only green thing about fake grass is its colour. I hate it.”

Chris McIlroy, Ecommerce and Digital Manager at Lincoln based The Grass People, believes that, apart from its negative impact on wildlife, the major problem is what to do with old plastic grass which he describes as “a green time-bomb waiting to explode in Britain”.

“The artificial content of plastic grass will last indefinitely but plastic lawns do wear and need replacing and that’s the real problem – disposing of large expanses of material that is mixture of various unnatural components in an environmentally acceptable way.

“It is already a major issue in the United States where much of the unwanted and worn-out plastic grass goes into landfill. This is not acceptable in the UK and the answer is to have natural grass lawns – not plastic.

“Natural grass creates oxygen, stores carbon, helps regulate temperature, traps dust and other microscopic air born pollutants, absorbs rain and helps prevent flash flooding. Being natural, it is a haven for wildlife and, when cut, gives off a sensual, natural smell. You cannot make any of these claims for plastic,” says Chris.

There are an estimated 20 million domestic garden lawns in the UK covering in total 494,200 square miles – an area equivalent to the UK’s third largest national park with only the Lake District (mainly water) and Snowdonia (largely mountains) being larger. Just imagine the environmental disaster of 494,200 square miles of plastic lawn!

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