De-Mystifying the Use of PAS100 Compost in Horticultural Growing Media

12th December 2016

This report details how PAS100-compliant quality composts can be used by the horticulture industry as a peat replacement, and could potentially reduce costs and increase quality.

Key points:
The great majority of the compost produced in the UK is made for and sold into the agricultural market, which is considerably less demanding than the growing media market
Compost producers interested in supplying composts for use in growing media could benefit greatly from forming a group or co-operative



For over 10 years, WRAP has been committed to improving the quality and availability of PAS100 composts, developing markets for composts, increasing the use of composts in growing media and increasing the use of compost-included growing media in both amateur and professional horticulture.

This work concerns quality composts that are PAS100-compliant, which have been made by compost producers accredited through the UK compost quality certification scheme. This project mainly concerns composts made solely from source-segregated green or garden wastes, although in some cases the composts discussed have been made from a mixture of green wastes and source-segregated food or food processing wastes.

It is widely acknowledged that the UK horticultural industry is over-reliant on peat. It is also widely accepted that the transition to more sustainable growing media and away from an over-reliance on just one material, peat – which is also a finite and controversial material – makes good business sense for all sectors of the horticultural industry and will improve the long term sustainability of the sector, as well as having environmental benefits.

The final report acknowledged that green compost will never be the sole solution to peat replacement. However, it did conclude De-mystifying the use of PAS100 compost in horticultural growing media that it has an important role to play in sustainable growing media manufacture and that work is required in order to improve confidence in compost, if it is to be used to a greater extent in growing media.

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