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Paper Is Better Than Plastic According To New Environmental Study
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has concluded a comparative study on the environmental performance of different packaging solutions.
The study compares the lifecycles of plastic products versus corresponding paper products from BillerudKorsnäs. The results show that paper has considerably more favorable environmental qualities than plastic, such as 50-70% lower greenhouse gas emissions.
IVL’s study looks at the entire product lifecycle, from material production up until it is thrown away or recycled. Although the transportation and packaging production of plastic products emits less greenhouse gas, the results show that the overall product lifecycle of paper products give rise to far less emissions. Material production of both paper and plastic packaging is the most energy intense part of production. But according to the study, which has been verified by Bureau Veritas, plastic production emits far more greenhouse gas than paper production.
“The results of the study challenge a common misconception that the production of paper packaging is more energy consuming and environmentally detrimental than the production of plastic packaging. An important reason why the production of the tested BillerudKorsnäs packaging materials emits less greenhouse gas is that their process is almost entirely run on renewable energy. Another reason is that the total energy consumption for production of these products is lower”, says Lena Dahlgren, project manager, IVL.
The EU parliament has recently introduced measures that will limit the use of plastic bags in Europe. The aim is to decrease their use from 200 plastic bags per person and year to 90 plastic bags per person and year before the end of 2019. Each member country will be free to decide how this goal will be achieved, but a possible solution might be to increase the use of paper bags.
“BillerudKorsnäs welcomes the EU initiative to deal with Europe’s littering problems. Paper and board packaging are not the only solutions. It is important to reduce littering, regardless of material. But given a choice between plastic and paper, we believe that our products can contribute to solutions against both plastic littering as well as climate change, two of our times largest sustainability challenges”, says Henrik Essén, SVP Communication and Sustainability, BillerudKorsnäs.
New Study Reveals Low-income Households Need To Spend A Third Of Weekly Income To Eat Healthily
Low income households in Northern Ireland need to spend at least one third of their take home income in order to purchase a basket of healthy food – according to a new study by the Food Standards Agency, safefood and the Consumer Council.
The cost of a healthy food basket for a pensioner living on their own is £59 per week, while for a family of four – two adults and two children - is £119 per week.
These are the main findings from Northern Ireland’s survey on the Cost of a Healthy Food Basket. The consumer-led research is the first time a cost has been put on a healthy food basket for two of the biggest household types in Northern Ireland
It asked consumers to select a realistic food basket from a taste and menu point of view, while also meeting the social needs of a household, such as hosting visitors or special occasions.
The food baskets were then reviewed by nutritionists from Ulster University to ensure they met nutritional guidelines of the UK Eatwell plate and were then price-checked accordingly.
Sharon Gilmore, Head of Standards and Dietary Health at the Food Standards Agency in NI, said: "Those people experiencing food poverty and having difficulty eating an adequate diet will continue to be the focus of our work.
"For the first time, we have sound evidence on the real cost of an essential food basket and how food issues relate to poverty and economic hardship. We need to take this evidence and develop an action plan to tackle food poverty in Northern Ireland."
Research Reveals Summer BBQs Responsible for Briton’s Weight Gain
New research by a money-saving website in the UK has found that two thirds of Britons put on more weight in summer than at any other time of year.
The main reason given for this was the increase in barbecue food eaten during the warmer months.
According to a new survey in the UK, two thirds (67%) of Britons put on more weight over the summer than during any other season, beating winter with Christmas and New Year festivities to the top spot. The average respondents revealed that they ate over 1,000 calories more at a barbecue than during a normal meal.
The study, conducted by www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, polled 2,196 adults from around the UK as part of ongoing research into the health and eating habits of British people. All respondents for the study were aged 18 and over.
Initially, all respondents were asked to identify when they noticed the most increase in their weight during the year, to which a majority of 67% confirmed they gained the most weight during the summer (from June – September).
Those who said that they gained weight over the summer months were asked to reveal the reasons why. The majority of respondents (58%) put this down to the amount of barbecue food they eat, whilst 34% said it was due to drinking more alcohol, such as cocktails and cider etc.
Wanting to delve a little deeper into the effects of the summer lifestyle, all respondents were asked to estimate how many calories, on average, they consume when eating a meal at a barbeque. The researchers calculated an average response of 1,775 calories per barbecue meal. By comparison, when asked how many calories they thought they consumed during an average meal, the answer was over 1000 calories less, standing at 650 calories.
Following on from this, respondents were asked to disclose which foods they ate most during barbecues, presented with a list and were asked to select all that applied to them. Results revealed the most popular barbeque foods as follows:
"I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for a good barbecue. From hot dogs to cheeseburgers, traditional BBQ cuisine is one of the UK’s favourite summertime treats – and who can blame us!”
“It is important, however, to ensure that you exercise regularly and keep yourself active to avoid putting on extra weight during summer. BBQ foods aren’t exactly the healthiest, so people need to make sure that they keep themselves fit and have some salad on their plate along with all the burgers and sausages!”