Environmental issue

Sandwiches Have Significant Impact To Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The carbon footprint of your sandwich could be having a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions according to new research. Researchers have carried out the first ever study looking at the carbon footprint of 40 sandwich varieties, both homemade and pre-packaged.

Antonio Manaytay – Fourth Estate Contributor

Manchester, United Kingdom (4E) – A brand new examine stated sandwich has carbon footprint, too, and that it has a serious impression to greenhouse gasoline emissions.

The examine, carried out by the researchers at The University of Manchester, was the primary in detailing out the carbon footprints of each home-made and pre-packaged sandwiches by wanting on the sandwiches’ life cycle.

In figuring out the carbon footprint, the researchers appeared on the totally different phases by which sandwiches went via: manufacturing of substances, packaging, and meals waste discarded alongside the provision chain.

The researchers discovered, after finding out some 40 totally different sandwiches making an allowance for the kinds, recipes, and mixtures, that sandwiches with highest carbon footprints are these with pork meat, cheese, and prawns. The sandwiches which have the bottom CO2 emissions, alternatively, are the home-made varieties with ham and cheese.

The so-called “all-day breakfast” sandwich can generate 1441 grams of carbon dioxide equal (CO2 eq) of a automotive driving for 12 miles.

Annually, in response to the British Sandwich Association, there are not less than 11.5 billion sandwiches consumed within the United Kingdom. Half of those are home-made whereas the remainder are purchased over the counters in supermarkets and repair stations.

Production of agricultural merchandise and processing largely contributed to carbon footprints of sandwiches accounting roughly from 37 to 67 p.c of CO2 eq. Also, the chilling sandwiches in supermarkets had contributed to its carbon footprint, which accounted to nearly 1 / 4 of its greenhouse gasoline emissions equal.

Packaging these sandwiches contributed round eight.5 p.c CO2 eq whereas transporting and refrigerating them had added some four p.c.

“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,” Adisa Azapagic, professor of the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences, stated.

Consuming some 11.5 billion sandwiches, she identified, on the common may generate some “9.5 million tons of CO2 eq, equivalent to the annual use of 8.6 million cars.”

Reducing their carbon footprints by half, in response to the examine, require a mixture of modifications in recipes, packaging, and managing wastes.

Extending the “best before” label may enormously scale back wastes. The BSA had estimated that extending the shelf-life of sandwiches would consequence to the discount of wastes by 2000 tons yearly.

“We need to change the labelling of food to increase the use-by date as these usually quite conservative. Commercial sandwiches undergo rigorous shelf-life testing and are normally safe for consumption beyond the use-by date stated on the label,” Azapagic stated.

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