Report uncovers environmental impact of petrol tools

The UK’s most widely used petrol-powered outdoor power tools have been put to the test, as part of a new report published by EGO. Bringing together evidence, insight and expert opinion, ‘The Report’ uncovers the environmental impact of petrol-powered tools – and outlines consumer attitudes when it comes to tackling climate change.

The research shows that more than 89% of tools used by councils in the UK are powered by petrol engines which collectively use more than 600,000L of fuel every year, and are used to maintain public spaces, parks and even school playing fields. When subject to emissions tests, however, these tools are proven to use significant levels of petrol compared to the average car and in some cases even exceed permitted levels of particulates.

The test results also show that, in just one second, the most widely used leaf blower recorded more particulates than the legal limit for road vehicles in a kilometre.

The Report was launched to mark Clean Air Day this week as part of EGO’s Challenge 2025 vision, through which a cleaner, quieter and safer environment is envisaged by encouraging the use of battery power over high-emission petrol-powered gardening equipment.

Emma Gayler of EGO, says: “The Report is our biggest research project to date and the startling statistics we’ve been able to uncover outline just how damaging petrol-powered equipment is for our environment. Despite using petrol engines, these tools are not subject to the same standards and testing as roadgoing vehicles, so we put them through emissions tests and found some alarming results.

“Knowing how damaging these tools can be in terms of pollution, it’s worrying that they remain in the hands of unassuming users and are still used to maintain outside space. This Clean Air Day, we want to make people aware of the dangers of petrol-powered tools, not just on our environment, but also on the health of ourselves and our communities.”

To gather the comprehensive results for The Report, EGO commissioned emissions and fuel economy tests, carried out a survey of domestic and professional power tool users and submitted Freedom of Information requests to analyse data from councils across the UK.

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