Our Daily Lunch Habits: As Bad For The Environment As 10,000 Cars?

New data from Digital ID has found that almost half a million tonnes of CO2e emissions is generated annually through pre-packaged lunches and hot drinks….. The equivalent of nearly 100,000 cars a year.

Digital ID’s survey of full-time working Brits, highlighted that 71% of workers purchase pre-packaged lunches more than twice a week, with workers in London, Birmingham and Glasgow being the worst CO2e emissions offenders.

Plus, whilst many high street coffee retailers are actively enticing customers to use reusable cups by offering discounts, the survey showed that nearly half of working Brits (46%) are still using single use cups, adding almost 100,000 (91,728) tonnes of CO2e emissions.

A breakdown of the CO2e emissions of key areas can be seen below:

Location Lunch CO2e Emissions Annually Hot Drink CO2e Emissions Annually Combined CO2e Emissions Annually
London 13,364 3,380 16,744
Birmingham 8,632 1,768 10,400
Glasgow 6,240 1,820 8,060
Leeds 5,824 1,300 7,124
Bristol 5,616 832 6,448
Manchester 4,680 1,300 5,980
Liverpool 3,172 728 3,900
Edinburgh 2,600 1,040 3,640
Sheffield 2,548 832 3,380
Cardiff 1,976 1,040 3,016
Southampton 1,976 832 2,808
Nottingham 2,132 520 2,652
Newcastle 2,184 468 2,652
Norwich 1,144 364 1,508


Speaking of the findings, Digital ID’s James Kelly added:

“Simple changes to our daily lunch routine could make a huge impact on the environment.  Using refillable water bottles and hot drink cups is a very easy change and will prevent over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from being generated.”

“If we consider the actual lunches too, making a conscious decision to not buy pre-packaged food and to bring lunches from home into work, will not only help reduce CO2 emissions, but also help your bank balance!”