The environmental impact of the consumption of sweets, crisps and soft drinks

image of The environmental impact of the consumption of sweets, crisps and soft drinks


• Summary

• Background

• The environmental impact of food in general

• Aim and scope

• Products studied and the inventory process

• Results

• Discussion and proposed improvements

• Conclusions



Discussion and proposed improvements

The latter part of the 1990s saw an intensification of life-cycle assessments of foodstuffs and food production, which led to an increase in knowledge of the environmental impact of food-production systems. The initial focus of the analyses was on the eutrophication contribution from primary production, but over the last four years this has shifted to food production’s impact upon climate change. It has been found that the greatest environmental impact stems from primary production – i.e. fish farming or the cultivation of crops or animal fodder – and that the relative contribution from this first stage in the life cycle is generally greater for animal than for vegetable products. Primary production often accounts for 90% or more of the eutrophication impact. When life-cycle assessments of food production began to be carried out on a larger scale, their focus was mainly on staple foods. It remains the case today that there are relatively few studies of products in the snack-food category, so the results of this study represent new knowledge.


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