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A recent study indicated that those who live near congested roads can reduce air pollution in a simpler way than they might think, thanks to a “super plant” that traps emissions.
The researchers found that a species of quince, or cottonseed, called Cotoneaster franchetii, absorbs more pollution than other similar shrubs, according to the Royal Horticulture Society.
Thanks to its thick and hairy leaves, Cotoneaster franchetii was 20% more effective at absorbing traffic smoke particles than plants such as hawthorn and western red cedar.
In just seven days, researchers found that a dense fence just one meter long removed the same amount of pollution as cars emitted at a distance of 500 miles.
However, although Cotoneaster franchetii is more effective on congested roads, it made no difference along the quieter streets.
Lead researcher Dr Tigana Planosa said the cotton plants would be ideal for cultivation along busy roads in polluted hotspots where major city roads have heavy traffic.
The study forms part of the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) work to mitigate environmental problems such as air pollution, floods and heat waves, and to promote the benefits of parks and green spaces.
And while a survey of 2056 people from the Royal Horticulture Society found that a third (33%) were affected by air pollution, only 6% take active steps in their gardens to mitigate it.
About 86% of those surveyed by YouGov said they care about environmental issues, while 78% are concerned about climate change, and the Royal Horticulture Society hopes to harness this concern to encourage people to consider helping the environment in their gardens.
Professor Alistair Griffiths, Director of Science and Charitable Groups at the Foundation, said: “We are constantly identifying new super plants with unique traits that provide enhanced benefits, when combined with other plants, as well as provide much-needed habitats for wildlife.”
“If it is planted in parks and green spaces, we can make a big difference in fighting climate change,” he added.
Source: Daily Mail