Council to look into how vegetation can remove pollutants

editorial image

North Lanarkshire Council has been ranked in the bottom third of all UK local authorities for the amount of pollutants being removed from the atmosphere by vegetation.

Research by the Office of National Statistics ranked the councils in terms of the financial value of air pollution removal by vegetation.

Another study by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, found the total atmospheric pollution removed by plants in the UK was 1.4 million tonnes, representing savings in health costs of £1 billion.

The ONS report, published on its website alongside an interactive map searchable by postcode, also correlates pollution with per capita healthcare costs.

The average amount saved in each area is £15.53, but in North Lanarkshire only £13.27 per resident is saved.

With North Lanarkshire’s population being over 300,000 that means an overall cost of around £800,000 to the NHS.

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: “The council monitors air pollution and reports annually to the Scottish Government and SEPA, alongside our action plan for improving air quality.

“We do not currently hold information on the effect of air pollution removal by vegetation, but this report highlights an interesting new area for consideration.

“Following a public consultation recently, our updated action plan measures include a feasibility study into the use of ‘green wall’ structures.”