The European Union is requiring member countries to have no more than 35 bad air days per year by 2012 or the countries will face fines of around $450 million. In order to clean up air pollution to meet the EU’s standards, London is turning to glue. Well, a glue of sorts. The English capital is applying a calcium-based adhesive to streets to trap particulate air pollution and, believe it or not, it’s working.
The city’s street sweepers have applied the adhesive to air pollution hot spots around the city and particulate levels in those areas have dropped 14 percent. The project has cost the city $1.4 million so far, which is pretty expensive, but 14 percent is a pretty substantial reduction from glue alone and a far cry from a payout of $450 million if they didn’t meet the standards.
London will be taking other action to reduce air pollution, including rolling out cleaner buses, retiring the most polluting taxis, enforcing stricter emissions standards and planting trees.
Author: Megan Treacy