February 19, 2023 – In a move that’s likely to make fans of peaty Scotch whiskies nervous, the Scottish Government has opened a public consultation period on a proposal to begin limiting the sale of peat with an eye to eventually banning peat usage outright.

Most peat harvested goes to agricultural use, and the government’s proposal would begin with a ban on the sale of peat for home gardening use, followed by commercial agriculture and finally, industrial uses of peat. Environment and Land Reform Minister Mairi McAllan said in a statement that “we also want to hear views from industry – those who extract peat, those who supply it, garden centres and other users of peat such as the fuel and whisky industries. We welcome a wide range of views to ensure that we can set dates for ending the sale of peat that are both realistic and ambitious.”

The government has set a goal of becoming Net Zero carbon usage by 2045, and Northern Ireland, Wales, and England are considering similar bans.

The consultation period runs through May 12, with no timeline for action in the Scottish Parliament. The move follows a similar public consultation period on proposals to limit the marketing and sale of alcoholic beverages in Scotland.

Links: Scottish Government Peat Consultation