Phytosanitary products, including herbicides, are a cause for concern, given their potential impact on people’s health and the environment. That is why Barcelona intends to move forward and rationalise the use of such products; the aim is to reduce their risks to and effects on human health and ecosystems and to seek alternatives, such as biological treatments, which enable a transition to ecological public gardening.
Avoiding the use of phytosanitary products in public gardening comes with several advantages, some of which will boost biodiversity and the quality of the urban environment as well as promote health benefits. Even so, such changes will imply a change of paradigm, a transformation of the landscape in favour of a native urban one typical of the Mediterranean, and a new culture of maintaining greenery in the city, with more sustainable good practices and with benefits for the community and for specific sectors sensitive to chemical products.
A proposal was approved on 22 December 2015 for eliminating the use of glyphosate and other herbicides in Barcelona’s municipal green spaces. The proposal provides for a period of one year within which to stop using chemical herbicides in municipal green spaces and public roads and squares.
The elimination of glyphosate will greatly benefit the public and the environment we live in. It will help to alleviate climate change, which will boost nature in its true state to the detriment of chemical treatments, and improve people’s health and quality of life.