Eco-friendly alternatives

The recent Monsanto court case underlines the importance of the TCL Group’s role in working towards greater use of environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional weed killer.

Indeed, one of its member companies, Royal Warrant-holding grounds maintenance specialist Burleys, has become one of the few contractors nationwide to use an award-winning system commercially which uses a combination of hot water and foam to ‘cook’ weeds on contact.

Burleys has been working with the charity Pesticide Action Network UK which is campaigning to reduce herbicide use across the country and successfully trialled the Foamstream system with Lewes District Council, which is working towards eliminating pesticides from all its public areas including parks and social housing.

Foamstream, produced by Weedingtech, has been gaining traction in the UK as local councils search for green alternatives and have been proving a hit in France where pesticides are to be banned in gardens and green spaces from next year
The system is used on many parks and all children’s play areas across Lewes district, which is also improving biodiversity by employing Burleys to plant swathes of wildflowers. The council is also looking into biological slug control alternatives.

The system featured on BBC Radio 4 ‘s Today programme (1h 23 mins in)  and BBC regional TV (15 mins 22 secs in), with the former mayor of Glastonbury – another user of the system – saying he would be happy to drink neat Foamstream!
It works by acting as a thermal blanket, stopping the heat in the hot water from escaping to the atmosphere and keeping the heat on the weed long enough to kill it.

The thermal energy penetrates the weeds’ waxy outer leaf layer, rupturing the cells, and killing them quickly. Some die within minutes, with others taking a day or two. A second application can eliminate taproots. It also sterilises seeds and spores – helping to reduce future weed growth.

The organic, biodegradable foam mixture is safe to use near children’s playgrounds, animals and watercourses.
An unexpected bonus is that the foam can also be used for a variety of street cleaning tasks including chewing gum removal from pavements, graffiti elimination and power washing – allowing the machine to be used all year round.

The foam is made from a blend of natural plant oils and sugars including maize, wheat, potatoes, rapeseed and coconut oils.
Simon Cashmore, CEO of the TCL Group, which was recently named one of the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 companies to Inspire Europe, said: “Foamstream is great for weeds, small woody growth like ragwort and for killing moss in places like tennis courts and play areas – and is excellent value. We fully support Weedingtech’s global mission to help organisations and cities across the world provide safer, cleaner and greener environments for their residents.”

Post brought to you by CC (commercial cleaners).

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