There’s no doubt about it; artificial grass has become very popular over lockdown, with it now being a £2bn global economy. But is it bad for the environment? This is a question asked by lots of eco-conscious who want to make sure they are making an earth-friendly purchase for their lawn. If you’re looking to buy turf in Essex, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire, and want to know that you’re getting yours from an eco-friendly source, choose Paynes.

According to a recent article in the Guardian newspaper, it is not. Paul Hetherington, fundraising director for the charity Buglife, says artificial turf is far from an eco-friendly alternative to natural grass. He says:

“It blocks access to the soil beneath for burrowing insects, such as solitary bees, and the ground above for soil dwellers such as worms, which will be starved of food beneath it. It provides food for absolutely no living creatures.”

Now with the dramatic global decline in insect species, artificial grass is particularly concerning.  According to the Guardian, the UK “is on course to miss its own targets for protecting its natural spaces, and has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows in a single generation.”

Unlike rewilding huge areas of the UK land and planting and growing many, many more trees to help store carbon and thus reduce global heating ( a recommendation of the Committee on climate change), artificial grass also has no climate benefits. In fact, the production of plastic uses fossil fuels and emits carbon into the atmosphere, thus adding to the problem. 

If you are considering whether to lay real turf in your garden this year, or go for artificial grass, and are concerned about the environmental aspects of both, choose real turf.