Where Phytoremediation Can Be Practical and Effective, Even Profitable

The new company Phytoremedia (www,phytoremedia) is the first truly commercial scale phytoremediation company in Eastern Europe and one of the few such companies in the world. Phytoremedia has gathered a panel of experts from all over the world to advise on projects and offers a full turn-key solution. Its experts come from Poland, the US, India, Taiwan and Belgium and the team is growing. This approach offers cleanup to regulatory levels for many polluted sites, but has been underutilized due to lack of information among regulators and the affected site owners. It also has a disadvantage of taking several years to implement and many remedial situations occur in the middle of a developers' building schedule. Nevertheless there is a major role that can be played by this attractive technology.
 The company is exploring the best alternatives for phytoremediation: idle land that has been rendered pretty much of little commercial value due to contamination. This can be "real estate…

Using Phytoremediation to Optimize the Resale Value of Your Industrial Site

Contaminated land issues in Poland and other countries mainly arise when a new owner decides that they want to build something, usually in a hurry. The quickest way to address their construction schedule is to "dig an dump." The consequences of this are normally that the seller has to take a huge hit in their sale price to accommodate the remediation bill. Intelligent owners of contaminated land can use their period of ownership to start phytoremediation where it is feasible, get a plan approved, and then not face discounting of their sale based on a hurry-up and expensive cleanup. In Poland and most of the EU, the cleanup standard is locked to current land use only. This means that the risk assessment may give a site a pass on residual contamination if the site has controlled-access and there are no exposure pathways. Later, the sale of the land can likely be to a developer who wants to do more with it as a commercial property. The cleanup issue will have to be revisited a…


Green wash is the artificial use of pro-environment messaging to deceptively convey to the public that a product, policy, or service has major environmental benefits.

     It is routine in corporate culture now and also is a major feature of public policy. Some examples:

     -  This product is made from "recyclable materials" - the user thinks that it is recycled. Almost anything can be technically recycled. But almost all materials are not economical to recycle and, in fact, are never recycled.

     -  Ban on plastics straws - the public thinks that this will reduce plastics pollution in the oceans, a serious problem. But virtually all plastics that end up in he oceans come from China and a handful of less developed countries. Plastics in industrialized countries go to landfills, waste-to-energy plants and even recycling. Ending plastic straws is a gimmick to make the consumer feel good or for the company or government sponsor to "virtue-signal."

     - Elec…

Pragmatic Environmentalist: Watching the Public Fall for Environmental "Feel Good" Scams and Spam

A couple of years ago I wrote this post. Everyone seems to be in a general state of denial about this problem with charging these vehicles in Poland. This is classic "green wash" (the superficial appearance of being environmentally- conscious). The latest green wash is plastic straw bans. Most all of the plastic in the ocean comes from emerging economies where there is often not even household waste service (everyone dumps everything). Plastic in the EU and US will end up in landfill, waste recovery plant or being recycled. Only a small fraction is capable of being recycled, which itself uses more energy than it saves. Plastic bans in the West will do nothing about plastics in the ocean except make people feel good about themselves, i.e. more virtue-signaling. Just like eliminating all US carbon emissions will only reduce temperature by 0.03 degrees under the UN IPCC's own model: a change that will be quickly swept away by events. The full achievement of the Paris Accor…
The EU Commission continues its battle with Poland over air pollution.  The air in Poland makes up 33 of the 50 worst urban areas in the EU. Emissions from coal plants, old cars, and household burning are the culprits.

Changing things will require a lot more than electric cars now being encouraged, since they remain charged by coal fired power plants and actually increase emissions.

I don't think that it really any plan in Poland to do anything different. If there is, it is not clearly in public right now and certainly will not be dramatic enough to work any time soon.

    Remediation of contaminated land by the use of plants that take up the pollutants is a very promising new approach. Phytoremediation relies on plants that can tolerate growing in contaminated soil and also have the ability to take the pollutants out of the soil. They are harvested and re-planted as necessary until the level of contamination comes within the targeted concentrations.

   “Phytoremediation is based on the use of natural or genetically modified  plants capable of extracting hazardous substances i.e. heavy metals including radionuclides, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons from the environment and turning them into safe compounds.” Mahar (2016). “Phytoremediation is emerging as an efficient treatment technology that uses plants to bioremediate pollutants from soil environments…phytoremediation of organics appears a very promising technology for the removal of contaminants from polluted soi…


It is finally being acknowledged that Poland will miss the 2020 target for its share of renewable energy and will face a cost of up to 8 billion PLN.  The facts have been recognized by the Supreme Audit Office which suggested the huge cost of having to buy green energy from other EU member states.

The comes largely because Poland squander its first eleven billion zlotys in RES support by giving the funding to existing coal-fired power plants that added biomass fuel and to existing hydro plants that were already built before the RES obligation was even imagined. No new capacity for generation of renewable energy was created by this policy and the share of RES it promoted was largely temporary (as power plants closed or stopped burning biomass). The suppression of other technologies by deflated green certificate prices and the delays caused by the auction procedures thwarted new projects for years.  

Now the Polish Government is apparently accepting the notion of green energy, but only af…