Five major French cities simultaneously announced a ban on pesticides on Thursday, in the hope of “changing the law” on such substances, now at the centre of a heated debate in France.
The five are Paris, Lille, Nantes, Grenoble and Clermont-Ferrand.
Their decision has broadened the movement launched by dozens of small rural communities in France, which recently decided to prohibit the use of pesticides near homes, blaming the Government for failing to take action in that regard.
The announcement by the cities – as opposed to the move by rural communes with farming communities – is largely symbolic.
The law already bans municipalities from using chemicals in landscaping and garbage collection. Since January, it also limits private persons and amateur gardeners to using natural phytopharmaceutical products.
This leaves mainly green areas belonging to joint owners and companies, particularly the SNCF railway company, a major user of glyphosate for clearing weeds from its rails and adjoining spaces.