The researchers estimate that a ready-made (and highly calorific) all-day breakfast sandwich generates 1441g of carbon dioxide equivalent – equal to the emissions created by driving a car for 12 miles (19km).
The study found a home-made ham and cheese sandwich could have the lowest carbon footprint, depending on the recipe. The study also found that making your own sandwiches could reduce carbon emissions by half compared to shop-bought versions.
“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,” said Professor Adisa Azapagic, one of the authors of the paper. “For example, consuming 11.5bn sandwiches annually in the UK generates, on average, 9.5m tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the annual use of 8.6m cars.”