The volumes of pesticides bought in Ireland decreased by 21% from 2011 to 2020, with the pesticide categories of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides all seeing decreased sale volumes over this spell, according to data released by Eurostat.

In 2011, a combined 3,690t of pesticides were sold in Ireland, dropping to 2,909t a decade later.

Insecticides saw the highest decrease in sales of any pesticide class, with volumes down almost 80% over this period.

Fungicide and herbicide sales witnessed decreases of 29% and 20%, respectively.

Sales in molluscicides - slug pellets - increased from 4t to 12t over the 10 years.

The EU picture

The drop in sales volumes in Ireland mirrors the overall EU drop in pesticide sales, with the Irish trend representing the sixth largest proportional drop in the use of pesticides between 2011 and 2020.

Overall, EU pesticide sales in the 16 member states that provided non-confidential data to Eurostat declined by 7.9% over the decade, with sales fluctuating plus or minus 6% of 2011’s sales figure up to 2020.

The Czech Republic saw the largest decrease in total pesticide sales at 38%, while Latvia increased sales volumes by almost 80%, although with “very low” volumes sold in absolute terms, according to Eurostat’s figures.