From next year

Organisers of the Landscape trade show have announced they will only support real turf at their event in September 2023.

They say this "environmental stance" means they will not accept any bookings from exhibitors representing artificial turf, plants or flowers. 

Event director, Jeremy Storey-Walker says he and the Landscape team are keen to best serve the industry that they represent and are all too aware of the problems that artificial turf contributes towards. He says, “We each have a responsibility to respect our environment and at Landscape we have the ability to help enforce the message and encourage the use of natural materials wherever possible”.

Landscape say with UK Parliament announcing an environmental and climate emergency, they believe it is shocking that sales of artificial grass are steadily increasing. They say increased application has troubling consequences and their team cite three main reasons for their push towards real turf over artificial: 

  1. the environmental impact
  2. the effect on wildlife
  3. widespread recycling issues

Explaining their reasoning further, the organisers of Landscape issued a press statement saying, "Unlike real grass, artificial turf does not remove carbon from the atmosphere, nor provide habitats for wildlife, or effectively drain water. Additionally, artificial turf is made of toxic PFAS chemicals, spreads micro plastic, and ironically requires more upkeep than its natural inspiration (watering the hot plastic in summer, clearing debris, even weed treatment and, of course, replacement every decade or so). Taking the more natural approach by only using real grass offers homes for wildlife where a whole ecosystem can survive and thrive.  Artificial turf is also currently unrecyclable.

"In a world where we condemn plastic shopping bags and drinking straws, Landscape thinks the option to cover gardens in plastic doesn’t seem quite right."

The decision to only represent real turf at Landscape 2023 also sits in line with the views of two of their long-standing Event Partners, the Royal Horticultural Society and the Society of Garden Designers. The RHS banned artificial grass from all of its events in 2022 in keeping with the charity’s ethos on plastics and as part of their Manifesto for Sustainable Gardens & Landscapes, the SGD suggests using natural alternatives such as wild flower areas or gravel if grass is non-negotiable. 

Landscape say they hope this choice will be met with understanding and support from the industry; choosing what is right over what is convenient; choosing carbon absorbing over carbon producing. 

Landscape 2023 takes place on 27th & 28th September, Hall 3 at the NEC, Birmingham 

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