Pesticide use in Flanders rises slightly
Flemish authorities used 2.2 tonnes of pesticides in 2022, slightly more than the 1.9 tonnes used in 2021, the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM) reported on Thursday. 88 per cent was used on permeable paving, such as dolomite or ballast beds for train and tram tracks. Smaller amounts were used on sports fields (6 per cent) and for pest control (4 per cent).
Since 2015, a ban on the use of pesticides has been in force for all public services, focusing on areas used for public services, sensitive areas along watercourses and in drinking water protection zones, and areas accessible to vulnerable groups. However, there are exceptions under certain conditions and circumstances.
Thanks to the ban, the use of pesticides has decreased from 15.7 tonnes in 2010 to 2.2 tonnes in 2022. Government agencies, such as the railway companies SNCB and Infrabel, account for 81 percent of the amount of pesticides used in Flanders. Municipalities and the Flemish government account for 10% and 5% respectively.
Pesticides are mainly used to control unwanted plants: 97 percent of the pesticides used by public authorities in Flanders are herbicides. The remaining 3 percent are insecticides to control wasps and the oak processionary caterpillar, and rodenticides to control rats.
#FlandersNewsService | © Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP