Use of coir has the added benefit of reducing the destruction of valuable peat bogs and wetland marshes worldwide where peat moss is currently mined for horticultural use. In the United Kingdom the government has set in motion plans to reduce the consumption of peat moss to 10% of the total growing media market .
Peat moss bogs, which is where most of the peat moss comes from, are a non-renewable resource. They have developed their own ecosystems, which sustain life, and removing peat moss also destroys these environments.
Large-scale peat harvesting is not sustainable. It takes thousands of years to form the peat “bricks” that are harvested in just a week. In particular, the extraction of large quantities of moss is a threat to raised bogs. During the 17th century in Holland, peat bogs were drained to feed a burgeoning peat mining industry. More than 90% of the bogs in England have been damaged or destroyed. Only a handful of bogs have been preserved through government buyouts of peat-mining interests.
In New Zealand, care is taken during the harvesting of sphagnum moss to ensure that there is enough moss remaining to allow regrowth. If a good percentage of moss is not left for regrowth, the time that it takes for the swamp to revert to its original state can be up to a decade or more if serious damage has occurred.