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News, Blogs & Press Releases » ‘Meat could be off the menu!’

‘Meat could be off the menu!’

Call for carbon footprint labelling on food packaging

Call for carbon footprint labelling on food packaging as a majority of young adults state they would choose more sustainable eating habits if this information was available to them.

A new UK wide survey has found that over half of all young adults agreed they would choose to eat more sustainably if carbon footprint labelling was included on food packaging. And with the government committed to reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions by almost 80% by 2035, these findings suggest that carbon footprint labelling could play a key role in reducing consumption of high carbon foods such as beef and lamb.

And it’s not just the younger generations who would be willing to choose sustainable eating habits, with over one in three adults (37%) aged 55 and over agreeing that they would choose to eat more sustainably given the information on menus.

The research was commissioned from YouGov by the Vegetarian Society and their Chief Executive, Richard McIlwain said: “Carbon footprint labelling could be a game-changer in the fight against climate change and it is heartening to see that so many young people are eager to make sustainable choices. We are therefore calling on government and food manufacturers to act urgently in rolling out clear carbon labelling on food packaging. And the survey could not be more timely, coinciding as it does with this year’s National Vegetarian Week, with thousands of people across the UK signing up to try great tasting, low carbon veggie and plant-based foods”.

Last year, the National Vegetarian Week campaign inspired people to switch over 70,000 meat-based meals for veggie and plant-based dishes, saving over 100 tons of carbon.

In 2023, the Vegetarian Society aims to encourage even more businesses, schools, local authorities, supermarkets and individuals to take part in the week. Everyone signing up to the campaign website receives a free digital ‘Make Your Meals Better by Miles’ booklet, which is carbon-calculated and packed with delicious recipes.

For more information about National Vegetarian Week 2023 (15th-21st May) and the Vegetarian Society, visit www.nationalvegetarianweek.org and www.vegsoc.org.

National Vegetarian Week 2023 is sponsored by Cauldron Foods.


Notes to editors

For media enquiries please contact Su via press@vegsoc.org

  • The Vegetarian Society is a campaigning charity bringing the benefits of plant-based eating to all! It campaigns to make the changes happen that need to happen. Changes to help people, to help the planet, and to help animals.
  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2074 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th – 28th April 2023.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  • Carbon footprint labelling shows how much carbon was produced as a result of manufacturing a product. By having clear carbon labelling on food packaging, consumers can make informed choices about the environmental impact of the products they buy.
  • Of adults aged 18 to 24, 22% strongly agreed and 29% agreed with the following statement?’ I would choose to eat more sustainability if there was clear carbon footprint labelling on the food packaging.’
  • Of adults over 55, 10% strongly agreed and 27% agreed with the statement.
  • Across the whole survey 44% of respondents agreed with the statement (15% strongly agreed and 29% agreed)

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