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Effective urban weed control can be achieved without recourse to chemical treatments. Many effective non-chemical alternatives exist, with more and more modern techniques and technologies coming onto the market.

Alternatives include manual and flame weeding, hot-water and biodegradable hot-foam, and brushing. Forward-thinking cities and towns around Europe are now responding to the concerns of local citizens by adopting these techniques.

Reducing pesticide usage doesn’t need to cost more. Many towns and cities have adopted creative approaches to cutting pesticide use at minimal cost.

Some have enlisted volunteers to help with weeding in local parks. Some have teamed up with other councils to share the costs of new technologies. Others have explored planting pest resistant plants, or even embraced the ‘weed’ by introducing wildflower meadows for the enjoyment of residents.

Bristol is a pioneering city with many commendable sustainable, ethical and social credentials to its name. The Alliance is urging the council to bring its pesticide-use policy in line with the city’s other green commitments, and embrace methods of weed control that are better for people and the planet.

Read Pesticide Action Network’s Guide to Gardening Without Pesticides

See Garden Organic’s page on weed control without glyphosate