‘Say no to plastic Grass & Plants’

In March 2023, the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) launched a campaign to raise awareness of the devastating effects artificial greenery has on the environment. At the first anniversary of the campaign, a survey conducted among SGD members has shown that 90% of them would no longer specify plastic grass in their designs if they were asked to and 43% said they had received fewer requests for it from clients.

Extending beyond artificial landscaping, the survey revealed that 80% of members said that their clients were now more aware of environmental and sustainability issues in general.

The campaign, supported by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Landscape Institute (LI), received widespread support from the industry and extensive media coverage. As part of the campaign the SGD also produced a downloadable leaflet outlining the facts about plastic grass and debunking claims that these products are eco-friendly. The leaflet is still available to download from the SGD website here.

Chair of the SGD, Andrew Duff MSGD said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the positive response to the campaign, especially hearing that almost all our members have pledged to stop using plastic grass in their designs.  

The campaign put the core issues front and centre of public debate and has sparked a national conversation about the extreme environmental devastation these products cause.  As a result, people are increasingly recognising the importance of natural gardens for biodiversity, healthy soil, and combating climate change and whilst the fight for a greener future continues, the ‘Say No to Plastic Grass and Plants’ campaign has sown the seeds for positive change.”

The campaign followed the SGD’s decision to ban advertising and sponsorship income from artificial grass and foliage suppliers in 2019 and the commitments the Society made in its Manifesto for Sustainable Landscape and Garden Design. The RHS banned the sale of plastic grass at its shows in 2018 and as of 2022 artificial grass and plants were banned entirely from its shows, including those used for floor covering and stand dressings.

For more information please visit: https://www.sgd.org.uk

All images © Society of Garden Designers: Banner top of page – Garden by Andrew Duff MSGD.