In Brief

Researchers are experimenting with the CO2-sucking effects of a special Honeysuckle plant

In Amsterdam, researchers are testing how well a special honeysuckle plant can work as an anti-pollutant. The AMS Institute in Amsterdam has partnered with local company MyEarth to breed a variation of the plant, called the Green Junkie, with traits (like “extra hairy and scaled leaves”) that will help improve its pollution-sucking abilities.

The denser and longer hairs on the leaves of the Green Junkie allow it to capture larger amounts of particulate matters. Researchers used a custom fertilizer made from plant waste from the city’s streets to develop the hairs, stimulating the plant to become a super-fast grower. Ordinary plants are already surprisingly effective air filters: some grasses and ivy planted near traffic can reduce nitrogen dioxide by 40 percent, and reduce particulate matter by up to 60 percent.

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