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Forestry and Land Scotland takes 'big step' towards net zero sustainability target with deal on biodegradable tree shelters with Tubex Nature, slashing dependence on single-use plastic


By Hector MacKenzie

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The biodegradable product will save labour and slash dependence on single-use plastic. Picture: FLS
The biodegradable product will save labour and slash dependence on single-use plastic. Picture: FLS

THE introduction of biodegradable tree shelters is set to help one of the biggest managers of woodland in Scotland meet its commitment to become more sustainable.

Following up on one of its climate change plan commitments to reduce its plastic waste, Forestry and Land Scotland is introducing biodegradable tree shelters.

FLS’ procurement team held discussions with shelter supplier, Cheviot Trees, on finding ways of becoming more sustainable – particularly on finding environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use, plastic tree shelters.

Gareth Waters, FLS’ interim head of operational support, said: “Our Climate Change Plan commits us to becoming more sustainable across the board and phasing out single-use plastics is high on our to-do list.

“This new biodegradable product is not only good for the environment and for wildlife but will also free up time for our local foresters who will no longer need to gather up used tree shelters.

“We’re now encouraging all of our teams across the country to make the environmentally friendly, sustainable choice.

“It’s one of the first, big steps on our journey and we’re looking forward to adopting other innovative solutions as we head towards Net Zero.”

Tree shelters are vitally important to protect young seedlings and trees from browsing damage from deer and other animals.

Every year, FLS uses approximately 200,000 of them, and collecting them for suitable disposal eats up time that could be better spent on other forest management activity.

The new product – Tubex Nature – is manufactured from biodegradable polymers derived from biomass.

Jonathan Cameron, Cheviot Trees’ sales and marketing manager, said: “We have been working closely with our manufacturing partners over the past few years to help develop a clever and innovative biodegradable solution that provides reliable protection to young trees.”

“We’re pleased to provide this next generation of tree shelters to Forestry and Land Scotland.”

They are of particular use in locations where collecting shelters would be difficult or sometimes impossible, such as dense woodland or places that are otherwise hard to get to.

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) mission is to manage forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.

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