A city goes ‘organic’
In early January, the City Council of Portland, Maine unanimously passed a tough ban on synthetic pesticide use in the city, leading many Portland residents to applaud their city’s new “organic” status. The ordinance comes in as one of the strongest pesticide use reduction policies in the country.
A strong city ordinance
Beginning July 1, 2019, residents and city workers of Portland won’t be using synthetic pesticides, and violators will face fines ranging from $100 to $500. The ordinance also creates an advisory committee to develop a robust campaign to educate the public and retailers about organic approaches to maintaining their lawns and gardens.
A grassroots group called Portland Protectors has been lobbying for a strict pesticide ordinance in the city for about two years, and applauds the new rules.
The ordinance includes exceptions for a minor league baseball field, a golf course and several athletic fields that will remain exempt until 2021, as well as an exemption for invasive pests.
Starting at home
Every year, U.S. homeowners apply 80 million tons of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to their lawns, and on a per-acre basis, American homeowners use 10 times more pesticides than what is used on U.S. farms. So a policy like Portland’s new ordinance, though seemingly small in scope, has the potential to create substantial benefits for the environment and human health in the community.
The organic lawn movement is taking hold across the country, and many gardeners are growing fruits, vegetables, flowers and landscapes without the use of the hazardous “cosmetic” pesticides that actually provide pesticide corporations their fastest sales growth. Find more on healthy gardening and lawn care here.
On Tuesday, California lawmakers took steps to add stricter penalties for pesticide drift violations in the state. With a 5-0 vote, members of the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee moved AB 1419 forward, signaling support for the health and safety of California farmworkers and farming communities.
And the campaign here aimed at Bunnings. MITRE 1o next.
Thank you so much for your support in the campaign to get Bunnings to drop bee-killing pesticides from its shelves.
Yesterday we received some news: we heard Bunnings Warehouse had made a private decision late last year to phase out neonics (bee-killing pesticides) by the end of 2018. We’ve been working over the last 24 hrs to corroborate this.
At the time we launched the campaign, and at that the time of writing to you today, these pesticides are still on the shelf at Bunnings and it looks like they will be at least until the end of this year. Whilst we’d like to see it happen quicker, it is nonetheless great to see Bunnings take this proactive step and we thank and congratulate them for looking out for the bees.