Louth plastic Christmas tree eco claims rubbished

Example of a plastic tree Image copyright LDRS
Image caption The tree is six metres high and features 7,000 energy-saving bulbs

Claims a town's six-metre plastic Christmas tree from China will be better for the environment than a real tree have been rubbished by opponents.

Louth Town Council is spending £7,500 on the tree to replace the traditional fir, which costs £900 a year.

Those who supported the move said its carbon footprint would be lower over its lifespan of 10 years.

Opponents said the levels of CO2 involved in its production and shipping to England negated any benefits.

Plans to purchase the tree were approved by 10 of 18 councillors at a recent meeting.

Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders, who is opposed, said the vote came "hot on the heels" of councillors showing their support for Extinction Rebellion.

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

"While it may look attractive, the levels of CO2 involved in its production and shipping are much higher than having a real tree."

Another councillor, Andrew Leonard, said there were other additional costs including storage and logistics.

"It's all got to be put together like a jigsaw," he said.

But others said the tree would be kinder to the environment over its lifespan, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"The environment was taken into account," Councillor Alan Cox said.

"Over a 10-year period an artificial tree produces lower carbon emissions. The carbon footprint is lower than the deforestation of 10 real trees."

Councillors at the meeting were also told the supplier would plant a tree in the Borneo rainforest for each one sold in a bid to tackle deforestation.

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