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Honeysuckle |  © Rowan Williams / Flickr
Honeysuckle | © Rowan Williams / Flickr

Green Junkie Flower Set To Reduce CO2 Emissions In Amsterdam

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 9 February 2017
A busy intersection in Amsterdam has recently received some modest renovations. A series of large transparent tubes containing leafy plants now line President Kennedylaan. These unusual flower pots are part of an experiment designed to reduce carbon emission in the city and use a special strand of honeysuckle to suck up the smog created by petrol and diesel engines.

These flowers have been cultivated especially for the project. Researchers in the Netherlands have been working on the strand since 2014, realizing that honeysuckle’s hairy leafs make for an excellent sponge for emissions. The plant in question was bred specifically to boost these natural qualities, with researchers pairing the hairiest specimens together to create broods of exceptionally hirsute honeysuckles. The new supercharged flower is called ‘Green Junkie’ and researchers hope that their creation will help fight the ongoing battle against pollution.

The flower was bred in the Netherlands | © John Morgan / Flickr

The flower was bred in the Netherlands | © John Morgan / Flickr

After laboratory tests proved successful the researchers were given the go ahead for wider trials. On the street, though, the plants are significantly more vulnerable to damage. Environmental factors like weather or careless pedestrians can cause irreparable harm to their delicate leaves, meaning that something was needed to protect Green Junkie from the outside world. The team behind the project designed Green Junkie’s casing to allow the plant to soak in carbon dioxide, while guarding it from adverse conditions. Inside these cylinders Green Junkie has shown to be a resilient little shrub and its creators are eager to plant it elsewhere.

The city aims to significantly reduce its carbon footprint by 2025 | © Thomas sauzedde / Flickr

The city aims to significantly reduce its carbon footprint by 2025 | © Thomas Sauzedde / Flickr

While Amsterdam is one of the greenest city’s in the world its municipality is still determined to reduce carbon emissions. The city intends to prohibit all cars powered by fossil fuels by 2025, and replace its entire bus fleet with vehicles fitted with electronic engines. Green Junkie is one small step towards this wider goal, and if the flower meets expectations, it might start sprouting up across the city.