• Question: What’s the main cause of pollution

    Asked by Louis to Philip, Maxime, Jake, Ann, Annette, Amy Heather on 20 Nov 2019. This question was also asked by 🍰 46map.
    • Photo: Ann Reen

      Ann Reen answered on 20 Nov 2019:

      Hi Louis

      There are three main causes of pollution -industry, agricultural & the general public. Industry because they discharge pollution either to water courses or to the atmosphere. Lots of plants/factories produce waste that needs to be disposed, waste in the form of a liquid which is discharged to rivers or lakes or to groundwater or polluted air that is emitted to the atmosphere. Agriculture because of over fertilisation of the land resulting in nutrient enrichment of rivers & lakes . The general public because of over reliance on fossil fuels to run home heating, car emmissions -NOx & SoX, buying foods that have huge air miles attached to them, adding to air emmissions etc etc.

      The local authorities & EPA regulate industries to help reduce the amount of pollution emitted. The local authorities inspect/regulate the farming sector in an effort to reduce the pollution here, e.g local authorities can insist on farmers constructing large slurry tanks to hold all the slurry during winter to prevent slurry contamination of the rivers. This is enforced under the Water Pollution Act.

      Government are tackling pollution by encouraging the general public to change to electric cars, solar panels etc. They do this by giving grants to the public to buy electric cars, install solar panels etc.

    • Photo: Amy Heather Fitzpatrick

      Amy Heather Fitzpatrick answered on 21 Nov 2019:

      Hi Louis. Ann has given a fantastic answer below. Fossil fuels are definitely at the heart of pollution, as they are relied upon to produce electricity and fuel our vehicles, that transport, both food, goods and humans. Everything we buy has been produced using energy from non renewable sources, as no country is yet 100% reliant on renewable energy. If we reduced our fossil fuel dependence, we could then to start to focus on food life cycle systems and sustainability and look at alternatives to plastic in food packaging for example.