As new research reveals a dramatic decline in French nature, a new ban on pesticide use in gardens comes into force.

From now on, private individuals — so-called ‘non-agricultural use’ — will no longer be able to purchase or use pesticides. This decision affects private individuals and amateur gardeners.

The new ban — signed off on 22 July 2015 — came into force on 1 January 2019.

A report from the French Agency for Biodiversity published at the end of December states that both habitats and species are under threat in the country. It stated that nature was declining at an alarming rate and that more should be done to protect nature in France.

This decision is a first step to limiting the impact of pesticides which have been found to have severe negative effects on the environment, health and biodiversity.

 

The report outlines ways pesticides impact nature.

“The widespread use of [pesticides] puts huge pressure on biodiversity: intoxication of organisms, effects on their reproduction or their behaviour, reduction of the food supply… They can cause ecosystem imbalances by affecting, for example, bee populations and other pollinators, and more generally, insects, earthworms, rodents, birds, fish…”

Banning pesticides is one way to stop nature loss. The French pesticide ban will only impact 10% of the pesticide market as most pesticides are used in industrial agriculture.

All EU leaders have made a binding commitment to stop nature loss by 2020.