Clean Air Day

Posted on 20th Jun 2019 by CarTakeBack Posted in: In The Know

What is Clean Air Day?

Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, led by Global Action Plan, it brings together communities, businesses, schools and the health sector to:

  • Improve public understanding of air pollution.
  • Build awareness of how air pollution affects our health.
  • Explain the easy actions we can all do to tackle air pollution, helping to protect the environment and our health.

Clean Air Day and driving

It’s Clean Air Day, so if you’ve decided to use CarTakeBack to get an old car off the road, you’ve already played a huge part in helping to clean our air and reduce pollution – thanks and well done!

Air pollution impacts us all and in the UK it’s a much bigger problem than a lot of us realise. While the CarTakeBack team expected to read about respiratory conditions and similar problems, we were shocked to learn that up to 36,000 deaths per year in this country are thought to be caused by air pollution.

The levels of air pollution that the World Health Organisation (WHO) set as a maximum (looking at daily and annual averages) have been passed in almost 2,000 locations across the UK. Some of those places have even recorded air pollution three times as high as the WHO limits.

So what is the government doing about it and how can we all help?

The ‘Clean Air Strategy’ has been launched by the UK government, which covers plans to develop new guidance on things that create pollution: like tyres, brakes and wood stoves, and to ensure only the cleanest fuels are available for sale. Notice that cars are a huge part of the plan, and as you’d expect, old vehicles, parts and fuel take a significant part of the blame when it comes to air pollution.

But let’s not be downhearted, you know how much we love cars, and we’re not suggesting everyone needs to suddenly hang up their driving gloves. There are plenty of things that you can do to help reduce the amount of pollution your family breathes in. Making small changes to how you travel can reduce pollution and its effect on us, especially if we all make the effort.

Clean Air Day posters about air pollution

Here’s our top seven travel related tips to reduce air pollution and contribute to Clean Air Day

1) If your old car is at the end of its days, have it recycled by CarTakeBack and use the money you get back to invest in a greener form of transport. Simply using a newer car would be a significant improvement, or even better you could buy an electric car, or that fancy bicycle you’ve always wanted! You could try out public transport and hire a new vehicle that suits the event when you really need a car.

2) If you want to make double the impact, you could donate your old car to the Clean Air Day campaign run by Global Action Plan, using our big-hearted scheme Charity Car! That way not only are you taking an old polluting car off the road, but the proceeds from it will help the charity raise awareness of this important campaign.

3) If you are not ready to get rid of your car simply try and use it a little less – the occasional lift-share, changing a meeting in person to a conference call, walking to the shops or school on a sunny day (don’t laugh – British summer time hey!) or taking a trip by bus or train can be novel and fun.

4) Simply switch off your engine when you are stationary (if it’s safe to do so of course) and you’ll help make the air cleaner for you and other people on or near the road – we were never sure that tip was true, but the clever people at Global Action Plan have said it really does help.

5) Look after your car – keeping it regularly serviced and your tyres inflated means it will run as efficiently and cleanly as possible and use less fuel!

6) If you are on a bike or on foot try and stay off the main roads – not only are you avoiding creating pollution it can lower your exposure to air pollution by a huge 20%!

7) Believe it or not, workplaces report that half of all the deliveries they handle are personal parcels for staff – that means a lot of extra vehicles on the roads. If you can use a Click and Collect location you might be going to anyway, you’ll save unnecessary journeys and reduce air pollution!


If you do any of our great seven tips, or you have your own ideas for reducing air pollution and taking part in Clean Air Day be sure to let us know, tag us using @CarTakeBackUK and use the hashtag #CleanAirDay…  we can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to – improving the air quality for your family and your community!

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