Research estimates council cost of banning glyphosate as much as £228m

Research commissioned by the Crop Protection Association has estimated the cost of banning weed killer for amenity use would cost local authorities as much as £228 million.

Banning glyphosate could prove costly for local authorities - image: Flickr/Nate Grigg
Banning glyphosate could prove costly for local authorities - image: Flickr/Nate Grigg

Currently 30 local authorities are understood to be under pressure from residents and anti-weed killer organisations to ban glyphosate and other chemicals being used on their roads, pavements, parks and other green spaces.

If local authorities all went ahead with a ban the cost would be enough to pay for the salaries of 11,438 adult social care workers, the researchers judged.

The Chairman of the Amenity Forum called on politicians to take a scientific approach to the issue.

Professor John Moverley said: "At a time when local authorities are faced with acute budget pressures, it is important that decisions are based upon science and evidence. Nobody working in the professional amenity sector would wish to do anything to endanger public health and safety and always makes use of all options available.

"Any weed killer coming to market undertakes rigorous testing before it is released and during its use. Weed killers used in the amenity sector have been proven time and time again to be safe – no less than 28 independent global regulators and thousands of scientific studies over 40 years back this up.

"They are used across the diverse and important amenity sector as part of an integrated approach, keeping our railways running, maintaining our world class sports surfaces, for woodlands and much more. This research has just highlighted the costs of keeping pavements weed free.

The total amenity cost would be substantially more. As the voluntary initiative for the sector, we seek to provide an independent voice promoting best practice in all aspects of weed and pest management. We recognize concerns can arise but, in dealing with them, we need a rational debate based upon science and facts. The management of weeds and pests in amenity impacts upon every UK citizen’’

A number of local authorities have considered and rejected proposals to ban glyphosate after trials proved alternatives would cost more. In addition local authority published data shows the up-front investment costs of alternatives to glyphosate based weed killers.

For example Edinburgh City Council’s trial last year judged that the local authority would need a capital expenditure totalling £852,000 for non-glyphosate alternatives, while Aberdeen Council published analysis which says the local authority would need an additional £1m for capital outlays in the first year.

This research was commissioned by the Crop Protection Association and conducted by Oxford Economics.

Local authorities being petitioned to ban glyphosate weed killers include: London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Brighton and Hove, Frome, Glastonbury, Erewash, Shaftesbury, Bristol, Edinburgh, Salisbury, Aberdeen, London Borough of Hackney, Glasgow, Wadebridge, Havant, Oxford, Darlington, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Somerset, Bournemouth, York, South Hams, London Borough of Brent, Calderdale, London Borough of Croydon, South Gloucestershire, Nottingham, East Grinstead, London Borough of Barnet, Lincoln, and Milton Keynes. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

A wide range of first-time exhibitors and established names will showcase a wealth of new varieties at September's Four Oaks Trade Show, says Matthew Appleby.

Product and service showcase

Product and service showcase

Fresh solutions to production problems can be found among the array of products and services being introduced at the Four Oaks Trade Show, Sally Drury reports.

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Continual learning is an essential part of the job and professionals should embed it in their work process, says Alan Sargent.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Landscape Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer