Coca-Cola Great Britain announced today the amount of carbon released in order to deliver cans and bottles of coke. In partnership with Carbon Trust, the company conducted a study across the full life cycle of the product from the ingredients involved to manufacturing to the packaging and the delivery of the product.
The results reveal that a 330ml can of ‘Coca-Cola’ sold in Great Britain has a carbon footprint of 170 grams and the same sized can of ‘diet Coke’ or ‘Coke Zero’ has a footprint of 150 grams. A 330ml glass bottle of ‘Coca-Cola’ has a footprint of 360 grams.
The research also revealed how packaging accounts for the largest portion of the drink’s carbon footprint, between 30 – 70%, depending on the type of container used. However, the research went on to highlight the importance of both using recycled content and of encouraging recycling post use. A combination of these two factors can decrease the overall carbon footprint of a product by up to 60%.
To put that in perspective, a can of Coke releases less CO2 than driving a mile in a Prius. Our maths to reach that conclusion: According to International Business Times, a Prius releases 43.1 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles. That means .431 pounds per mile. A can of Coke releases 170 grams or .375 pounds. If our maths is wrong here, please let us know in the comments.
That’s an apples to orangutans comparison, though. To put it another way: Pepsi said in January that 3.75 pounds of CO2 are released for each half gallon of orange juice it produces. Which means on some level, Coke is better for the environment than orange juice.
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