Published: 19:23, 04 December 2018
| Updated: 14:44, 05 December 2018
The owners of a garden centre that has stopped selling Christmas trees in plastic packaging have urged other businesses to do the same.
Edibleculture in London Road, Faversham, has announced that it will instead be wrapping its festive firs in hessian.
David Ware, who runs the garden centre alongside Chris Williams, says the plastic netting the garden centre previously used is “horrendous” for the environment.
“We got very used to selling Christmas trees that way,” he said.
“The customer would take the tree home with the netting and throw the wrapping away.
“The plastic on Christmas trees is horrendous – it’s single-use and a real hazard in landfill because birds get trapped in it.”
Mr Ware added that the price of the firs has remained the same as before the change in packaging – ranging between £35 and £60.
Edibleculture is also selling potted Christmas trees in wooden pots, as opposed to plastic ones, over the festive period.
Mr Ware says the garden centre will stop selling items wrapped in – or made from – single-use plastic in the New Year.
“We’re trying to mitigate the amount of plastic that we pump out there, so we’ve taken a few radical steps with our business,” he added.
“We’re not anti-plastic zealots. We’ll still use it within the business because it’s a fantastic tool, but what we’re trying to do is actually not pass any onto customers.
“We’re working with and pressuring suppliers to prove to us that they’re not pointlessly using plastic."
Earlier this summer, campaign group Plastic Free Faversham challenged the town’s businesses, residents and council to reduce the amount of plastic it throws away.
In August, Macknade Fine Foods in Selling Road became Faversham’s only shop to offer a plastic-free section.
It installed a bank of dispensers allowing customers to buy an array of dried goods loose, ranging from rice and pulses to dried fruit and muesli.
Mr Ware has called for more businesses to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that they sell.
“We want other businesses to catch up,” he said.
“We’re investing a lot in this. For instance, we got rid of our van and we’re going to have an electric van.”