I had no idea it was that many! At least 41 different types of pesticides can be found in our towns and cities.
These chemicals are devastating London’s precious natural environment and contaminating the natural resources relied on by wildlife like birds, bees and hedgehogs -- and they’re dangerous to humans too.
And for what? Urban pesticide use is unnecessary. Hundreds of towns and cities around the world have banned them, and councils across the UK are showing it can be done too -- including London’s Hammersmith and Fulham.
With the local elections coming up, now is the time to pressure your council to join them, and make your borough pesticide free.
Pesticides are sprayed in our parks, our playgrounds, our schools, and other urban spaces. These chemicals have been linked to an array of health problems, from neurological disorders to Parkinson’s Disease, with vulnerable people such as children, pregnant women and the elderly most at risk.
And wildlife is affected too. The number of urban butterflies has declined by nearly 70% in recent years. The birds and animals that bring so much pleasure and benefit to our parks and gardens -- having been forced to take refuge in cities due to urban sprawl and agricultural pesticides -- are being left with ever smaller areas where they can forage for uncontaminated food.
A recent poll showed 68% of UK citizens want to see our towns and cities pesticide free. That's why we're partnering with our friends at the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) to make London the first pesticide-free city in the UK, borough by borough.
If your council pledges to go pesticide free, they’ll get lots of help from PAN to make it happen, including practical workshops, support to create a bespoke pesticide policy for your borough, and help in developing trials of non-chemical alternatives.
The world is waking up to the dangers of urban pesticide use. France has recently proposed an EU-wide ban on non-agricultural glyphosate, while the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has made moves to end urban pesticide use in its boundaries. And of course SumOfUs members all over the world are taking on the pesticide industry - and winning.
In order to protect our environment for the future, we need to push for more local action to reduce our dependence on dangerous pesticides, and come together for a #pesticidefreelondon.
We're working in partnership with Pesticides Action Network UK on this campaign