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RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK
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Pre-packaged sandwiches produce biggest carbon footprint: research

UK’s annual consumption of sandwiches has a greater impact on the environment than the use of 8 million cars, scientists claimed.

Researchers at the University of Manchester calculated the carbon footprint of 40 different types of sandwiches – both home-made and pre-packaged – taking account how the ingredients were produced, the packaging, as well as food waste discarded at home and elsewhere in the supply chain.

The study found ready-made “all-day breakfast” sandwich containing egg, bacon and sausage to have the highest carbon footprint, generating 1,441 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq) – the same as driving an average car for 12 miles.

Professor Adisa Azapagic, from the university’s School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences, said, “Given that sandwiches are a staple of the British diet as well as their significant market share in the food sector, it is important to understand the contribution from this sector to the emissions of greenhouse gases. For example, consuming 11.5 billion sandwiches annually in the UK generates, on average, 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 eq, equivalent to the annual use of 8.6 million cars.”

Photo credit: Raynor Foods

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