Sheffield City Council use of Glyphosate over last 5 years.

Today I received the reply to my Freedom of Information request regarding the use of Glyphosate. Here are the results.

20162017201820192020
Parks1125950900450450
Bereavement310310310310660
Highways3606345833153451.53570.95
Total5041471845254211.54680.95

It appears from the graph that Highways are by far the biggest user. However, there are some important points to note. The product purchased for Bereavement services in 2020 were ready mixed, ready diluted controlled droplet application (CDA) products, containing significant volumes of both water, adjuvant and carrier, so
these figures do not represent “neat” chemical use of glyphosate. This explains the big increase in 2020. Unfortunately the Council did not tell me what proportion of the mix was Glyphosate so I can’t work out the actual figures. The same is true for all the Highways figures, so actually the total amount used on Highways may be much nearer the figures for Parks and Bereavement.

The main conclusion from the data is the Council are using large amounts of Glyphosate on our streets, cemeteries and parks, poisoning the soil and harming biodiversity. Despite strong warnings about the dangers both to the workers and to nature, no real effort has been made to reduce the amounts used over the last five years.

The Council have given information regarding a trial of Katoun Gold. This is a product containing an active ingredient Pelargonic Acid which is used for weed management around shrub beds. It is marketed as a natural weed management solution.

The trial is described as follows-

“Fig 1 – depicts the area sprayed with glyphosate and Chikara. As can be
seen the results were very effective.”

“Fig 2 – depicts an obstacle where Khatoun Gold and Chikara was used to
spray around it. As can be seen the results were moderately effective.”

“Fig 3 – depicts an area similar to Fig 1 but using the Khatoun Gold and
Chikara mix. As can be seen the results were less than satisfactory.”

They conclude “Furthermore, it is worth bearing in mind that Khatoun Gold is not yet
licensed for use on hard surfaces. Given the facts presented it’s
considered that Khatoun Gold is not a viable alternative to Glyphosate.”

My thoughts on Figures 1 and 2 are they both look a mess! I would question why it is necessary to spray anything along the wall or around the post. Figure 3 looks much more attractive, but again I don’t see why anything needs to be sprayed here.

It is very disappointing that no trials have yet taken place on the various other alternatives to Glyphosate that are detailed on the Pesticides Action Network website.

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