Lambeth’s air quality improvements

Lambeth's air quality improvements

Lambeth’s air quality improvements have been impressive; it was the first council in London to declare a Climate Emergency. The council actively works with residents to reduce carbon emissions across the borough. They also support active travel and they are investing in green and renewable energy. In addition to this, they are installing charging points for electric vehicles and planting trees, among other things. 

Last month, the Mayor of London announced that there have been major improvements in Lambeth’s air quality. Brixton Road, used to be one of the most polluted roads in London. It broke the hourly legal limit for toxic pollution in 2016 a total of 538 times. However, last year it didn’t break this legal limit at all. 

Over the next two years, the Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood programme (BLN) is going to provide better, quicker, cheaper or more convenient alternatives to private vehicles. You can subscribe for updates at:

Examples of support services include collaborating with Brixton BID and Zipcar for Business. Also, the Cross River Partnership is launching London’s first shared electric van that is free to use for local businesses in Brixton.

Let’s hope together we can create healthier and safer streets. 

Thinking of cycling?

The company Peddle My Wheels runs pop-up bike markets selling second-hand refurbished bikes. This started from the idea of collecting children’s bikes which parents often throw away. You can also decide to buy a brand new bike. Although, if you are not too sure if it is right for you, you can try the bike for a few months first. There is a monthly charge for this until you decide it is not suitable for you or until you own it out right. There are also electric cargo bikes suitable for businesses and available as well at a monthly fee. The scheme called ‘Try Before You Bike’ offers 2 hours of training to give you or your staff confidence on the streets. 

Ludo’s flatmates are regular cyclists and one of them started cycling thanks to this scheme. Ludo bought a second-hand bike a few months ago. She feels reassured that cars are becoming more aware of cyclists and that protected cycle routes have grown significantly in London.

Lambeth's air quality improvements

Get a reusable water flask and start refilling!

Enjoy your water, prevent plastic waste

Enjoy your water, prevent plastic waste

Ludo has a lovely, colourful reusable water flask that a friend of hers bought her when she was away in Sardinia last year. She carries it with her everywhere. She noticed recently that there is a real drive in her area to get people to refill their bottles. So, this is instead of buying plastic bottles of course. The local council has put up Re:fill Brixton banners on lamp posts to make local residents more aware.


The idea is to help try to establish a new norm by refilling your reusable water flask. This not only reduces litter but cuts down on single-use plastics too. Brixton can get messy so the hope is that everyone gets involved and tries their best to reduce their use of single-use plastics.


There are refill water stations popping up throughout London. Jon has noticed that there is one outside Willesden Green station now, although he’s not sure it’s working yet! You can download a Re:fill app so that when you are out you can find somewhere to fill up. There are also local cafés where you can get a refill. The app will show you where you can find them so you will never be without a full flask!


As spring and summer approach and with the temperatures rising due to global warming, it will be more important to keep hydrated. So, do your bit, go out and buy a flask and start refilling. You will find, as Ludo and Jon have, that it feels much better to refill and leads to cleaner streets

Deposit Return Scheme

Less than half of the 35 million plastic bottles that British people throw away every day are recycled.

Campaign to Protect Rural England were campaigning last year to introduce a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and other litter similar to what they do in Germany and Norway mirroring the milk bottle scheme. They did an online survey on YouGov website and almost three-quarters would support a deposit return scheme (DRS).  Also, the councils would benefit financially from the introduction of such a scheme. The former environment secretary, Michael Gove, is keen on developing this concept.

A few brands are committed to increasing the percentage of recycled materials in the bottles they produce, like the water brand Smart Water which now produces a bottle that is 100% recycled and 100% recyclable.

100% recycled plastic bottle of water