The Home Depot plans to phase out neonicotinoids by 2018, according to a recent statement on the company’s website. The large home improvement retailer stated that its live goods suppliers have reduced the number of plants that they treat with neonicotinoids, and now more than 80% of all flowering plants sold at The Home Depot are not treated with neonicotinoids. The retailer said it will continue this decrease unless:
- Treatment is required by state or federal regulation, or
- Undisputed science proves that the use of neonicotinoids on live goods does not have a lethal or sub-lethal effect on pollinators
Aside from these exceptions, the retailer has implemented a complete phase-out of neonicotinoid use on live goods by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, The Home Depot has required all of its live goods suppliers to label plants that have been treated with neonicotinoids.
“The Home Depot is deeply engaged in understanding the relationship of the use of certain insecticides on our live goods and the decline in the honey bee population,” the retailer’s Eco Options website states. “We continue to seek scientific facts on the effects of our products on bee health, because we are committed to safeguarding the health of these critical pollinators. We have been in communication with the EPA, insecticide industry, and our suppliers to understand the science and monitor the research. We are encouraged by the improvements in the (CCD) data and support the White House’s Pollinator Health Task Force. We will continue to expand our customer education on pollinator-friendly gardens.”
The company invites feedback at [email protected].
Survey Shows Growers Of All Sizes Cutting Back On Neonic Use
According to Greenhouse Grower‘s 2016 State Of The Industry Survey, in which 255 growers responded, a large number of growers are eliminating the use of neonicotinoids in production this year (64% overall), led mostly by small growers (69%), followed by large growers (57%) and medium-sized growers (56%). This has changed from 2015, when growers reported in our survey that 52% would not use neonics, while 48% planned to continue using the class of chemicals.
In response to large retailers’ continued phase out of plants grown using neonicotinoids, including Lowe’s mandated phase-out by 2019 and The Home Depot’s recent announcement, these retailers’ grower vendors are being required to reduce or eliminate neonic use, as well. Seventy-four percent of growers who said they supply mass merchandisers and home improvement chains reported they won’t be using neonics in 2016 production. Of those who are still using neonics in 2016, phase out is imminent or in progress.
See more data from Greenhouse Grower‘s 2016 State Of The Industry survey in the January 2016 issue, and look for updates online in January, including the downloadable 2016 State Of The Industry Whitepaper.