After the ban on pesticides for local authorities and individuals, the last stage of the “Labbé” law concerns green space professionals. The use of pesticides is now prohibited in all green spaces, regardless of the actor who manages it.
Law No. 2014-110, known as “LABBÉ” law of February 6, 2014, oversees the use of phytosanitary products throughout France. It is broken down into several stages which aim to gradually eliminate the use of synthetic plant protection products in French green spaces.
Synthetic plant protection products (plant protection products or pesticides) are prohibited, biocontrol plant protection products, such as products based on pheromones, bacteria or plants, etc., the use of which is regulated, remain authorised.
“Labbé” law: the steps in banning pesticides
The “public person”
Since January 1, 2017, the State, public establishments and local authorities no longer have the right to use/have used phytosanitary products for the maintenance of green spaces, forests, promenades and roads accessible or open to the public. .
Since January 1, 2019, the ban has been extended to individuals. Amateur gardeners can no longer use, buy or hold phytosanitary products except those of biocontrol, low risk and authorized in organic farming.
Green space professionals
And July 1, 2022 marks a new deadline since the ban on the use of phytos products extends to professionals in all homes and places for collective use or frequented by the public.
Thus, this new obligation requires professionals to no longer use plant protection products or pesticides in private homes, in all private places (condominiums, hotel residences, campsites, allotments, amusement parks, commercial areas and car parks, places of work, educational and health establishments) and within public infrastructures not previously concerned (such as cemeteries and the majority of sports grounds).
This development, which aims to protect our health and preserve the environment, biodiversity and living organisms, will benefit spontaneous vegetation, such as orchids, and favor wildlife, in particular birds and pollinating insects, which are currently in steep decline. They will also reduce the negative effects on our own health and on the biological diversity of the soil, which has become catastrophic.
Fewer pesticides: more biodiversity
Without phytosanitary products, the maintenance of the garden will require new habits and certainly to devote more time to it (manual weeding or targeted revegetation to control spontaneous vegetation, for example). This also requires having a good knowledge of existing alternative techniques to fight against bioaggressors and other parasites, but also of the plants most adapted to the climate and the soil, and therefore more resistant, those which protect themselves or which attract pollinators.
Laurent Bizot, President of the National Union of Landscaping Companies (A P), says: Landscaping professionals have a real role to play with individuals, condominiums and businesses. Collaborations with local authorities have been particularly fruitful, and feedback is now sufficient on alternative techniques that have proven their worth. This is a new transition for the French and their garden (private or collective), and we will do everything we can to support them in order to have a green space that is more natural and still just as beautiful. The failure would be if the French turned massively towards the artificialization of their garden, and opted for excessive mineralization, because the spirit of this law is to promote green growth and preserve biodiversity. And this can only happen through revegetation wherever possible.»
But less garden and more artificialization
This is unfortunately what we see in too many gardens. In the context of urban densification, the gardens of new housing estates are becoming smaller and more artificial. In effect, the little private green space is almost systematically waterproofed : gravel, synthetic lawn, tar, terrace… Spontaneous vegetation is not welcome and many hedges in private homes are also destroyed to be replaced by walls.
Is this a negative consequence of the “Labbé” law? It’s hard to say, but we see that individuals no longer consider their garden less and less as a nurturing and living green space but only as a space for the barbecue or the swimming pool and above all which must be the least restrictive possible… However, ordinary, local biodiversity is crucial and our role in its preservation is just as important.
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