A potentially dangerous weed killer with links to cancer in humans will no longer be used by Renfrewshire Council around parks and schools as part of plans for a complete ban in the next few years.
Councillors came to an agreement this week to halt the use of glyphosate in areas of recreation for fear it may cause harm to children and animals.
It is a popular herbicide used to kill certain plants and grasses but some studies have suggested it is probably carcinogenic.
At a full council meeting yesterday, elected members also decided to phase out using glyphosate entirely over the next two to three years while trialling alternative weed killing methods.
The agreed motion stated the council would become a herbicide-free authority “as soon as is practicable”.
Councillor Andy Doig, who tabled a motion to ban using the chemical, told the chamber: “Constituents in Kilbarchan raised this with me as they feel very passionately about it in terms of how it can be a potential risk to children and small animals.
“There are a number of councils in the UK with a full ban on glyphosate and others with restrictions.
“There’s been many occasions where products have been used in industry and then we’ve subsequently discovered they cause health issues like asbestos. So we need to find alternatives and some are coming on stream. “The other thing is a lot of pesticides are becoming resistant to rain and we have a lot of that in the west of Scotland.
“I think that outlines the case for stopping the use of glyphosate. I understand we need to do that gradually.”
Councillors have asked for a report to be brought back to the environment board on safer alternatives to glyphosate.
Work will also be carried out to ensure Renfrewshire Leisure phases out the chemical in future.
Paisley Southwest councillor Eileen McCartin added: “A couple of years ago I raised this issue with the council. “I think it’s very important we stop using glyphosate now, particularly around schools and playparks.
“We must ensure our residents and our staff are properly protected from these chemicals.”