Ep18. How to engage with the dis-engaged, to tackle the UK’s air pollution emergency problem?

The ANIMA ANIMUS Podcast is on a mission to bring the conversation of sustainability to the forefront of the fashion industry. Join Chelsea and her guests in learning and growing, unravelling the issues that the fashion system has caused, both on our planet and its people. Subscribe/ download/ follow us on your favourite streaming app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen here now.



How to engage with the dis-engaged, to tackle the UK’s air pollution emergency problem, with Katie English.



Did you know, Ella-Kissi Debrah was the first person in the UK to have air pollution as her cause of death? Ella was only 9 years old. The UK is experiencing an air pollution & national waste emergency.


This week, we’re joined by lovely Katie Scarlett English, who is a Master’s graduate in ‘Environment, Politics & Society’ at one of London’s most renowned universities, UCL. She entitles her thesis: London’s Toxic Air Health Crisis: A study of local resistance to the environmental, social and health injustices produced by the Edmonton Incinerator.


This is a topic that touches us both on a such a personal level, so I hope you enjoy this episode where we’ll learn more about:

- The current national waste problem and how this links to the spiking air pollution levels.

- The argument for incinerators to still exist, if we know the great damages this is causing to our atmosphere, environment and local communities.

- The intersections of racial injustice and rising air pollution levels in the UK.

- Harness the power of community to engage with the disengaged…


Katie Scarlett English featured on The ANIMA ANIMUS Podcast, a podcast focusing on streetwear fashion and sustainability.

Reach Katie at:

katiescralettenglish@gmail.com



Thoughts/ ideas/ brought up in the conversation:


23:05 - The problem: Overproduction of waste causing a national waste emergency.

- “There are only 3 London incinerators but they contribute to 54% of the total UK incineration.”

- UK Government focuses on “quick” fixes, mainly incineration, to resolve this.


30:00 - What are the health implications of burning waste?

- Burning waste produces massive health impacts because of the particles and toxins in the air. Leading to premature deaths, asthma attacks, pulmonary function and inflammation.

- The levels of NOx in London currently breach World Health Organization (WHO) levels.

- Travaglio et al. (2020) study: air pollution produced by incineration is linked to the spread of the coronavirus.


Ella Kissi-Debrah – first person in the UK to have air pollution as a cause of death.

- Died at age 9. Lived in South London.

- Exposed to excessive levels of air pollution, building up to her asthma attack.

- Research revealed more than 2million Londoners are living in areas which exceed legal limits.


32:00 - Ok, so we know about all these negatives, what’s the argument for these incinerators to still exist?


41:00 - What are the strategies in which the activists are using to engage with the disengaged?


49:22 - Intersectional: Racial Injustice and climate injustice



Katie’s top resources & recommendations to learn more about this topic:

· UKWIN Website

· WHO Website

· Local environmental groups

· Academic articles (Travaglio et al. (2020) etc.)



It would mean the world, if you could help me make the show become more discoverable for others, by leaving a 5-Star review on Apple podcasts, or sharing the show on your social media platforms so we can all continue to keep the conversation going. Please do leave your social media handle on the review/ tag me as I'd love to connect and thank you all personally!


Thank you so much again for coming through, and until next week…

Sending you mad mad love,

Chelsea x


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