Join the Campaign to Breathe Clean Air in the UK - Blog

Skip to main content

Tuesday 15th August 2017

The government has just announced its intentions to ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040, but why not tackle air pollution sooner?

Friends of The Earth, who have been finding solutions to protect our planet for over forty years, have launched a campaign for the UK to phase out diesel fuel and to opt for clean alternatives now.

Air pollution contributes to climate change, and also costs the UK economy £20 billion pounds per year. It’s most alarming effect is the one that it has on our health.   By protecting our environment, we are protecting ourselves. It’s a shocking fact that air pollution causes 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every single year. Dirty air also causes many health problems such as asthma, heart disease, respiratory problems and lung cancer.

Worryingly, most areas of the UK are breaching EU legal limits for deadly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - limits that should originally have been met in 2010. Certain British cities such as London are also breaking safety levels for fine particulate matter known as “PM10”. Soot from car exhausts is a common particulate.

Traffic on a London street

But how polluted is the air around you? As part of the clean air campaign, Friends of The Earth have created a Clean Air Kit to help you measure air quality where you live and in the places that matter to you. The kit comes with an air monitoring tube which measures Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), a harmful gas in the air around you, as well as tips on how to avoid toxic air pollution. Once you’ve finished with the tube simply send it back to Friends of the Earth who will have the tube analysed for you and will e-mail you your results and explain how to read them. Your results will be added to their national air pollution map.

Clean Air Kit

The campaign has had a strong response so far with over 17,000 people already pledging support for ditching diesel by 2025 and many have been campaigning for action for clean air where they live.

Positively, the amount of electric cars on the road sold is rapidly increasing, as companies and people turn away from polluting diesels.

There has been a 2,600% increase in registration of electric cars in the UK in the past four years, and car manufacturers such as Volvo have vowed to only sell electric or hybrid cars from 2019.

Here at Paper Round we are always in support of campaigns protecting the environment, and have recently invested in an electric van to join our fleet.

Sign up to the campaign here or donate to FOE to help tackle air pollution.

Smog over London

Certifications and Memberships