Here's which sandwiches are most damaging to the environment

Is your sandwich bad for the environment

Is your sandwich bad for the environment

"Consuming 11.5 billion sandwiches annually in the United Kingdom generates, on average, 9.5 million tonnes of Carbon dioxide eq., equivalent to the annual use of 8.6 million cars", it adds.

"They found the highest carbon footprints for the sandwiches with pork meat (bacon, ham or sausages) and those containing cheese or prawns", says the study.

The worst is a commercial egg, bacon and sausage "all-day-breakfast" sandwich, with corresponding values of 1440g and 19km. They scrutinized several factors, including homemade versus pre-packaged, production of the ingredients, the actual ingredients and how much food was wasted in making it.

Of the recipes considered, the most carbon-intensive variety is a ready-made "all-day breakfast" sandwich which includes egg, bacon and sausage, which generates carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to driving a auto for 12 miles.

This annual consumption "generates, on average, 9.5 million tonnes of Carbon dioxide eq., equivalent to the annual use of 8.6 million cars", said Adisa Azapagic, professor at Manchester University, which produced the study.

Our nation's obsession with tucking into a sandwich at lunchtime is having the same impact on the environment as the use of eight million cars.

It was also revealed that the all-day breakfast sandwich, which boasts egg, bacon, and sausage, had the worst carbon footprint - generating 1441 grams of CO2.

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The sandwich with the lowest carbon emission equivalent is a simple home-made favourite, ham and cheese. Depending on the type, this can account for around 37-67% of their carbon footprint.

The greatest contributor to the carbon footprint of both types of sandwich is the agricultural production of ingredients but for ready-made sandwiches, the preparation and retail stages are "significant", they say.

The chilling of sandwiches in shops is responsible for around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, while the production of packaging material and transport accounts for 8.5% and 4% respectively. Reducing ingredients such as cheese and meat would also reduce the amount of calories eaten, contributing towards healthier lifestyles.

According to the BSA, extending the shelf life of sandwiches can help reduce 2,000 tonnes of sandwich waste annually.

Considering the love of sandwiches by United Kingdom citizens-a trait that may echo the feelings of many on this side of the pond-researchers say that understanding their greenhouse gas emissions is important, especially considering those emissions are the primary cause of climate change.

She also said that shelf-life and use-by dates should be extended, commenting: "These are usually quite conservative".

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