Deutsche Bahn wants to completely dispense with the use of the controversial weed killer glyphosate this year. This was announced by the Group on Sunday. In the future, weeds on railway lines will be removed with mower machines and with the environmentally friendly pelargonic acid. In addition, the railway wants to control the vegetation digitally. When pelargonic acid can actually be used now depends on the Federal Railway Authority (EBA). Its approval for the means is still pending, it said. Previously, "Bild am Sonntag" had reported. The railway had already announced in 2019 that it no longer wanted to use the herbicide.
"We keep our word and completely phase out the use of glyphosate in 2023," said CEO Richard Lutz. "Having examined a large number of alternative methods, I am pleased that we can rely on an ecological alternative to glyphosate in the future." According to Deutsche Bahn, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) approved pelargonic acid in February in coordination with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Transport.
According to Deutsche Bahn, the use of glyphosate has more than halved since 2020 compared to 2018. In 2017, the company had used 67 tons of glyphosate. The weed killer is approved in the EU until the end of 2023. The WHO cancer research agency IARC had classified it in 2015 as "probably carcinogenic" to humans.