Many councils across the UK have already implemented Foamstream as the chosen method of green and urban space management in their districts.
For decades, the status-quo in weed control has been herbicides, and the market-leading option, glyphosate. However, there has always been an underlying debate around whether it is or isn’t safe to use. In recent years, concern has grown larger in light of scientific research and studies that have been carried out around the impact of the chemical on human health and in a bid to prove or disprove its toxicity.
In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency, IARC, declared that, based on observational studies, animal studies and test tube studies, glyphosate is a ‘probable human carcinogen’ – meaning it could potentially cause cancer. Concerns have risen out of the chemical’s link to health and the increasing exposure of the chemical to people, animals and waterways in public spaces.
Many councils across the UK are consciously looking to alternatives in a bid to move away from their reliance on herbicides in their communities, whether under duress from public petition and changes in legislation, or as their statutory duty of care to their residents and the environment.
Foamstream’s primary objective was to enable those wanting to make the move away from herbicide reliance to do so as simply and cost-effectively as possible. We provide them with a safe, effective alternative to use in public spaces like schools, parks, playgrounds, residential and other urban areas.
Given the concerns and pressures surrounding authorities, there has been an initial wave of UK councils who have made the conscious decision to move away from herbicides, to a herbicide-free approach, in order to protect their residents and the communities in which they live. These are listed below:
● Vale of Glamorgan
● Hammersmith and Fulham
Public petition has been one of the main drivers for the councils making the move towards a herbicide-free approach and Foamstream has been the herbicide-free option of choice due to its heightened efficacy and cost-effective adoption. The Vale of Glamorgan, Fareham, Glastonbury and Lewes councils all decided to implement Foamsteam following a public petition in the local area.
‘’The public vote in favour of eliminating pesticides/herbicides was overwhelming. With this in mind we set about finding a credible alternative.’’
Mark Tavener, contract manager at G Burley – Lewes District Council are their client.
Another driver has been the awareness of councils in regards to the importance of moving towards a greener agenda to protect resident’s health and well-being. Hammersmith and Fulham were the first borough to implement Foamstream in order to align with their agenda of becoming the greenest local authority in the country.
“While there is some debate over the health risks of glyphosate-based chemicals, there is no debate that at H&F, the health and well-being of our residents is our priority and we recognise the importance of a green agenda in better supporting that.”
Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.
Denbighshire, the most recent council to implement Foamstream, brought in a herbicide-free alternative as part of a corporate plan to protect the environment.
“Protecting the environment is something the council takes very seriously and is a priority for us under our Corporate Plan. The use of herbicides is a concern for many residents, and we are investing in new, state-of-the-art technologies to manage our environment in a more eco-friendly way.’’
Cllr Tony Thomas, DCC’s lead member for the environment.
There are many alternative herbicide-free solutions available on the market, however Foamstream offers councils a number of benefits to help solve the key organisational challenges they are faced with when looking to make a policy which moves away from herbicides.
1. Foamstream is the most cost-effective herbicide-free solution on the market.
Foamstream requires less annual treatment cycles than any other alternative on the market.
– This is due to the insulating foam blanket which helps hold the heat in the hot water on the plant for longer, providing a more effective kill rate. This, combined with sterilising surrounding seeds and spores to reduce future regrowth, means that Foamstream becomes the most effective alternative solution. (Diagram above) Foamstream compared to burning, steam and hot water.
– With instantaneous results and visible foam cover, operators can also see where they have treated ensuring they don’t waste time covering the same area twice.
Multi-functionality, provided by the ability to use Foamstream not only to control unwanted vegetation but also to tackle street cleaning tasks such as gum removal and power washing, allows councils to spread capital costs across multiple departments within their organisation.
2. Avoid any costly downtime.
Foamstream has many benefits over other alternative methods as well as over glyphosate. As Foamstream can be used in all weather and on all surfaces, all year round, it allows labour to be effectively planned and allocated. This reduces costly downtime and allows for the definite planning of tasks and operations.
3. No safety risk to the operator, public or the environment.
Foamstream has been approved for unrestricted use in all territories we operate in by relevant accreditation bodies (including Organic Farmers & Growers Association and Soil Association in the UK). It’s environmentally-friendly credentials make it 100% safe for use around people, animals, waterways and delicate ecosystems, eliminating the chance of causing potential harm to residents and their community.
4. No specialist training or equipment required.
Foamstream requires no on-going operator certification, protective clothing, or specialist training, helping you to eliminate additional costs attributed to traditional methods of vegetation control.
Councils can easily and simply implement Foamstream with little to no training due to its intuitive operating system. This means councils can start using Foamstream systems straight after delivery of their machinery meaning no time is wasted.
5. Foamstream uses existing infrastructure.
No additional capital cost is required to implement Foamstream as it makes use of existing infrastructure, such as vehicles.
6. Positive publicity for the borough.
Boroughs who have already implemented Foamstream as part of their herbicide-free strategy have received positive publicity for their decision, as well as positioning them as forward-thinking authorities who are conscious of resident’s health. This includes receiving positive feedback from the residents themselves on the emotional impact of using Foamstream systems:
“I was struck by the speed and efficiency of Foamstream. What is particularly pleasant is how clean the streets look and actually feel to be in. During treatment the streets are cleaned as well as weeded. My impression is that there is a freshening quality to Foamstream treatment.
We could say this is a holistic approach to community health.”
Victoria Conran – Resident – Bonnington Square, London
It allows councils that opportunity to publicise their borough in a positive way by supporting environmentally friendly credentials and promoting greener, cleaner and safer green and urban spaces for their residents.
Are you looking to join the herbicide-free movement happening across the UK and bring many benefits to your borough, its residents and the communities that they live in?
If you’d like to see a demo of our Foamstream technology in your borough – simply contact us today to request a demo.