A campaigner from Melksham has flagged the dangers of plastic grass, which they say could be a "ticking time bomb" for the environment.

Today, an open letter has been launched to the Secretary of State for environment, food and rural affairs highlighting what the problems are.

Charlotte Howard is demanding action, after a surge in sales of artificial turf, which some say has been caused by social media trends.

Having bright green turfs in people’s back gardens is a popular feature of influencers’ households, who have been showing off pictures of their picture-perfect lawns on platforms like Instagram.

The worry is that it is made from harmful chemicals and leakes micro-plastics into the soil, starving it of air and water and stopping the organisms working beneath,

At the end of being used, the turfs are then dumped in landfill or incinerated.

Charlotte told this newspaper: “The chemicals polluting rainwater around the world will mean it will give of PFAS chemicals, so from beginning to end it is rubbish.”

PFAS chemicals in rainwater have been found to be linked to cancer and pervade homes and environments, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Charlotte put together a report outlining all of the issues around plastic grass, with the aim of ‘busting myths’ which companies give to justify artificial turf usage.

She said: “If DEFRA make a stand, then hopefully we can stop this plastic scourge from happening, but without them it’s really difficult.

“It took 30 years for PEAT to get banned, and it finally got banned this week.

“It isn’t impossible but it’s a long fight on our hands to get the companies to wake up to it.”

Worries have been growing more recently, after several heatwaves in the UK.

Dr Mark Gush, Head of Environmental Horticulture for the Royal Horticultural Society, recently told Channel 4 News: “Artificial grass is fundamentally bad for the environment because it results in loss of habitat in gardens.”

In the open letter, which has been signed by 53 people so far, Charlotte also noted: “We are asking you to step up and take responsibility. If DEFRA genuinely plans “to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste”, you must ban sales of plastic grass in the UK immediately.”

“It is hard to think of plastic waste that is more easily avoidable.”