A LOCAL garden centre is taking green steps in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

The Squire's Garden Centre at Woking will see changes as part of the company's drive to be more sustainable.

As of this month, only ‘home compostable’ carrier bags and boot liners will be available across all Squire’s garden centres, for easier composting. Made from vegetable starch, the new bags and liners can be added to garden or food compost bins to break down.

In addition, a new re-usable 100% natural cotton bag-for-life will be available for purchase, encouraging customers to return using their own handy shopping bag. Charitable donations will be made from both the sale of the new recyclable carrier and cotton ‘bag for life ‘bags.

These changes are being introduced to all Squire’s 16 garden centres, along with "Reuse or Recycle Bin Stations", enabling customers to easily recycle plastic pots, trays and compost bags.

The company says it is 'working closely with one of the UK’s leading recycling providers", with each garden centre preparing the waste from the three recycling bins for collection. This material is then 100% UK recycled, with nothing going to landfill.

Squire’s new home compostable carrier bags (Squire's)

A further change this spring will see the introduction of sustainably sourced raffia and plant sleeves for garden centre gift wrapping.

"We hope these customer facing initiatives demonstrate our absolute commitment to being more sustainable as a business," said Ross McEwan, Squire’s sustainability manager.

"Early indicators are extremely encouraging, with a positive response from customers to our new bin stations, for example, which have been very welcomed and well-used.

“In addition to these new sustainability focused introductions, Squire’s is certified zero waste to landfill and has Planet Mark certification for our total carbon emissions reduction for the last three years. We are proud to continue our drive for local sourcing of our plants, with 85% of our plants now sourced from UK nurseries.  

“We have pledged to do the right thing for plants, the planet and people. We strive to improve all the time. Each small step is significant for us, our customers and future generations.”