September 9, 2019 10.53 am This story is over 55 months old

How green is Louth’s £7.5k Christmas tree?

Supporters say the tree will be cheaper long-term and kinder to the environment

A £7,500 spend to replace Louth’s Christmas Tree has come under fire from a district and town councillor.

East Lindsey District Independent Group Leader and Louth Town Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders says she has concerns over the environmental impact of the plastic tree approved by 10 of 18 councillors at the town authority’s August meeting.

However, those who supported the decision say the tree will be kinder to the environment as the carbon footprint is lower than the deforestation of 10 real trees.

In a recent newsletter, Councillor Makinson-Sanders said the tree would be made in China and shipped over to the UK and had concerns over the levels of CO2 involved in its production and shipping to England.

District and town Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders has concerns over the environmental impact of the tree.

Responding to Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines, she said the vote came “hot on the heels of supportive councillors saying they backed the Extinction Rebellion”.

“As a result I found their support for a Chinese made plastic tree hypocritical,” she said.

The councillor had previously joined another in visiting the company to see the trees at its base in Preston and said she was told there about containers being en route from China importing more trees which had raised her concerns.

“We used real Christmas trees, collected by Louth Rotary for a donation to charity, to line the banks of the river going through Hubbard Hills recently, so I am confident that their reuse is very very different. Growing trees put CO2 back into the atmosphere as they grow too,” she said.
As an Independent councillor I support green initiatives locally and as a granny I want to leave my grandchildren a legacy of a healthy and sustainable environment. It is not an issue of money in my book but care for the environment must be paramount.

In a post on the Move Louth Forward Facebook page, a number of residents queried the value for money while some suggested cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives could be found locally.

Labour Louth Town councillors Lynne Cooney and Alex Cox however, say the tree is being bought from a British company, with the frame manufactured from British Steel. They said only some of the components come from China.

The trees are six metres in height and include 7,000 energy-saving LED lights built-in. They are made of a mix of PE Plastic and PVC.

Councillors were told when they approved the plans that supplier Christmas Tree World plants a tree in the Borneo rainforest for each one sold in a bid to tackle deforestation.

Councillor Cox said: “The environment was taken into account. The carbon trust advises that over a 10 year period an artificial tree produces lower carbon emissions. The carbon footprint is lower than the deforestation of 10 real trees.”

How the tree might look lit up.

They are keen to point out that the trees are not “single use plastic”.

A real tree, they say, costs £900 per year, which they say, means the tree will pay for itself in seven years. It will not be decorated this year, but will in following years.

A statement from Louth Town Council said the recision was made following a recommendation by its Christmas Lights Working Group and demonstrated its commitment to enhancing the festive light display in the town.

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