Kingfisher announces it will stop selling products that contain metaldehyde across its 1 200 stores and replace them with environmentally-friendly alternatives. According to the company, the home improvement retail group becomes the first major retailer to remove metaldehyde from shelves. Metaldehyde is used in gardening products to protect plants from slugs and snails. Experts warn it can cause significant harm to wildlife and can pollute rivers. Levels of metaldehyde found in UK waterways are often higher than EU standards. As a result, in December, the UK government announced it will ban outdoor use of the chemical from 2020. Kingfisher is adding several chemical-free alternatives to its gardening range this month, following years of product development with suppliers and partners, the company says. Together, they studied slug behaviour to develop unique products that can protect plants without using harmful toxins. The Safe By Nature range includes copper tape - a natural slug repellent - and wool mats and pellets which are rough on slug feet. The range has been developed to be just as effective as chemical products, whilst providing additional environmental benefits, such as releasing nutrients into the soil and protecting plants from weeds. Other products include slug traps, imitation wasp nests and improved sonic repellents.