The German government announced Wednesday it would move forward with a plan to eliminate the use of glyphosate, the key chemical in the weedkiller Roundup, by the end of 2023.
The chemical has been linked to wiping out insect populations and harming ecosystems and pollination.
The Guardian reported German officials said the chemical would be completely phased out by 2023, the same year the European Union’s approval period for it expires.
“What harms insects also harms people,” Germany’s environment minister Svenja Schulze said. “What we need is more humming and buzzing.”
Schulze added that “a world without insects is not worth living in.”
The first phase in Germany’s ban will mean the chemical will no longer be used in city parks and private gardens by the end of next year, according to a policy plan for implementing the full ban.
Additionally, using herbicides and insecticides will be limited or banned in habitats such as grasslands, orchard fields and along the shores of Germany’s waterways.
Bayer, the company behind Monsanto, opposes Germany’s complete ban, arguing that the chemical is “an important tool for ensuring both the sustainability and productivity of agriculture.”
Austria was the first country in the EU to implement a phase-out of glyphosate, doing so back in July. Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands have since followed suit, with France saying it also plans to phase it out by 2023.
EU officials are set to reevaluate the use of glyphosate in 2022.