Clean Air Day is the UK's largest air pollution campaign engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media. 

Coordinated by Global Action Plan, Clean Air Day brings together communities, businesses, education and the health sector: 

• to improve public understanding of air pollution, both indoors and outdoors
• to build awareness of how air pollution affects our health
• to explain some of the easy things we can all do to tackle air pollution, helping to protect the environment and our health too. 

Costs of air pollution

Air pollution harms the health of millions, particularly young children and those with lung and heart problems. It's a public health issue on a par with cancer, obesity and heart disease - and costs the UK some £20 billion a year. 

Through simple messages such as walk or cycle to work or school, we're inspiring thousands of people up and down the country to take part in events in their schools, communities or at work.  

Clean Air Day 2018

The 2018 campaign, in the run up to Clean Air Day on 21 June, got off to a brilliant start with our story about the London Marathon in late April.

Our research revealed a massive 89% drop in the capital's air pollution on the day of the Marathon when the streets were closed off to traffic. This was picked up not only by the UK national media, but internationally too. 

Groundbreaking research

Over the following months we went on to reveal new research about:

The campaign peaked on Clean Air Day itself, with events up and down the country, Global Action Plan staff appearing on TV and radio news to talk about air pollution, and #CleanAirDay trending on Twitter for eight hours.

Many people took up the challenge to walk or cycle to work, college (pictured below) or school.

In Edinburgh (pictured below) they closed off the Mound to traffic for the morning, landscaping and installing benches to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

In Manchester a hospital ran free bike maintenance sessions for its 3,000 staff. Portsmouth gave away free park-and-ride tickets to encourage people to take public transport. And in Lambeth, London, as part of a week of events, a school installed a screen of ivy to protect it from pollution from a nearby road (see below).

Thousands taking part in Clean Air Day

The 2018 campaign clocked up more than 1,450 news or broadcast items since the beginning of April.

This, combined with social media, meant we had a staggering engagement reach of more than 900 million. At least 1,000 organisations engaged in the day and there were more than 500 events. 

Most important of all, however, is that we can be sure that the air pollution message, and what we can do to tackle it, is now firmly in the mind of many many more people. 

Find out more about our work