The Crazy Plant that Eats Smog

By Alfonso Ricardi (originally posted on SimpleChange)

Smog plant

Imagine that you’re walking down a busy street and you see some metal tubes with plants above them. You ask what they are and are told they absorb smog!

Is this possible?

In Amsterdam, they are testing a new type of Lonicera–honeysuckle–to see if it can function as an urban air filter.

Green Junkie (the name this plant is known by), a modified version of honeysuckle, seeks to amplify its natural properties to absorb smog, according to Adele Peters in an article for Fast Company.

MyEarth, a local company, proposed this initiative to the AMS Institute in 2015. The institute loved the idea, and decided to support this pollution-eating plant.

Smog plant

The plant is already being tested in the streets of the city, and is part of government efforts to make Amsterdam a clean city along with, for example, offering economic incentives for electric cars.

Though this initiative has raised great expectations, researchers at Wageningen University are wary of the impact that these plants can generate, since, as Adele mentioned, the amount of smog absorbed may be greater than other plants, but still have only a minimal impact.

What do you think about this idea?