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Microwave appliance usage could be as bad for the environment as cars, suggests new research

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January 17, 2018  University of Manchester read full ScienceDaily article here

Microwave appliance usage across the EU alone emits as much carbon dioxide as nearly seven million cars, according to a new study by The University of Manchester.

Researchers at the University have carried out the first ever comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of microwave appliances, considering their whole life cycle, from ‘cradle to grave’.

The study found:

  • Microwave appliance usage emits 7.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year in the EU. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of 6.8 million cars.
  • Microwave appliance usage across the EU consumes an estimated 9.4 terawatts per hour (TWh) of electricity every year. This is equivalent to the annual electricity generated by three large gas power plants.
  • Efforts to reduce consumption should focus on improving consumer awareness and behaviour to use appliances more efficiently…

Alejandro Gallego-Schmid, Joan Manuel F. Mendoza, Adisa Azapagic. Environmental assessment of microwaves and the effect of European energy efficiency and waste management legislation. Science of The Total Environment, 2018; 618: 487 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.064

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