With UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove announcing last month that the UK will back a total ban on insect-harming pesticides in fields across Europe, comes the news that both pureplayer ManoMano and Homebase are to stop selling products harmful to bees.
Says Gove: “Not to act would be to risk continuing down a course which could have extensive and permanent effects on bee populations. That is not a risk I am prepared to take, so the UK will be supporting further restrictions on neonicotinoids.”
The European Commission is currently working towards a total ban on the use of these pesticides outside of greenhouses, with the vote planned for December likely to uphold this, thanks to the UK deciding to support a ban.
For its part, ManoMano – which now operates in six countries across Europe (including the UK from last year) with 1.2 million referenced products and 1,200 partner sellers – says it “decided to take a stand”.
The following week, Wesfarmers-owned Homebase, the last of the big UK home & garden players to join in, announced it was stopping sales of neonicotinoid pesticides by next year.
The company said: “We have been working closely with our suppliers and seeking advice from other stakeholders about the use of neonicotinoids and we have committed to stop using these insecticides on garden plants, as well as removing neonicotinoid-based garden care products from sale by the end of 2018.
“This will be supported by a robust audit process, which will include ongoing monitoring of the evolving science surrounding pollinators.
“This decision took some time while we sought advice from our team and suppliers as well as other key stakeholders. This is consistent with the way we approach any decision that impacts our offer to customers.”
This decision will also presumably apply to Wesfarmers’ Bunnings-bannered UK stores.
Update: since the above was written, Bunnings has confirmed it would be removing neonicotinoid product from its shelves across all markets.