Last reviewed 22 July 2019

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey and Transport Minister Michael Ellis have launched a campaign to tackle the impact of particulate and plastic pollution from brakes, tyres and road wear.

While they note that air quality has improved significantly over recent decades, a recent report published by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) called for urgent action to address the problem of tyres and brakes.

This is predicted to account for 10% of national emissions of PM 2.5 (particulate matter) by 2030.

As outlined in the Clean Air Strategy published earlier this year (available at, the Government is calling on industry to support the development of standardised methods for measuring emissions from these sources.

Eventually, it wants to see a new international standard for tyre and brake wear.

Industry innovation is one way to tackle the challenge and the Government is also advising drivers to consider how their driving style can reduce emissions, with gentle braking, driving at a consistent speed and using electric vehicles all listed as possibilities.

Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport (CBT), said: “It is clear that brake, tyre and road wear are polluting our air and water. The Government needs to move beyond understanding the scale of the problem to encouraging and facilitating solutions. It needs to put in place a framework to reduce this source of pollution to protect our waterways and marine environment, and make the air we breathe safer.”