Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides that have been associated with an enormous pollinator decline over the last few years due to the unregulated use of these chemicals. Municipalities and cities have taken enormous steps to protect their local environments by implementing a ban on the application of these products to lawns and gardens.
Lowe’s is the latest company that has announced steps to halt the sale of these products by phasing out the chemical pesticides by 2019. A 2014 study released by environment group Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Research Institute showed that 51 percent of garden plants purchased at Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contained neonicotinoid pesticides at levels that could harm or even kill bees.
Last year, BJ’s Wholesale Club, a warehouse retailer said it was asking all of its vendors to provide plants free of neonics by the end of 2014 or to label such products.
Last year, Home Depot, the largest U.S. home improvement chain, also asked its suppliers to start labeling any plants treated with neonics and that it was running tests in several states to see if suppliers can eliminate neonics in their plant production without hurting plant health.