Good news for home gardeners looking to make their lawn and garden more eco-friendly!
The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement and garden supply store, has announced that they will entirely phase out selling plants pretreated with harmful neonicotinoids.
Just what are neonicotinoids, you ask?
Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides generally sold by agrochemical companies to boost the production of staple crops such as corn and wheat. In addition to treatment of commercial crops, the pesticides are also used on annual and perennial plants sold for planting in home lawns and gardens.
Neonics have been pinpointed for contributing to the dramatic decline in honeybee populations observed in recent years. The insecticide works systemically, meaning that traces of the substance can be found in all parts of the plant—leaves, stems, flowers, and pollen. When a bee makes contact with a plant treated with neonics, it can be killed immediately or carry the poison back to the hive, causing lethal and devastating effects.
Last year, The Home Depot developed a policy of transparency regarding the use of insecticides. All supplier locations have been required to label any plants treated with neonics and other pesticides.
The Atlanta-based company, which has more than 2,200 locations across the U.S., alleges that they have currently stopped pretreating 80% plants with neonics and will discontinue the use of neonics altogether by 2018. However, their garden supply inventory will still be stocked with insecticides sprays and other products containing neonics.
The U.S. agriculture sector continues to dump 5 million pounds of the stuff on crops every year.
However, with a nudge from the Friends of the Earth organization, this new measure to sell bee-friendly plants is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.