London – A big mac’s carbon footprint is equivalent to driving a car nearly 13km, new data shows.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said the company takes climate responsibility incredibly seriously. In terms of carbon dioxide emissions, a single big mac is to blame for 2.35kg of CO2.
That’s according to an analysis, which compared the environmental impact of 11 of the fast food chain’s options.
A big mac can be run through a carbon calculator, Plate up for the Planet, to get the results.
It found that producing a Big Mac leads to the emission of 2.35kg of CO2; the same as driving an average petrol car on a 24km trip.
Beef, heavily featured in both burgers, has continually been called out as one of the most destructive foods on the planet.
McDonald’s beef patties emit 2.11kg of CO2. In contrast, the chain’s plant-based beef patties, such as its new mcplant burger, are responsible for just 0.12kg of CO2.
But where the burger ingredients are sourced from is also to blame for their large carbon footprints.
The quarter pounder, the bacon double cheeseburger, and 20 mcnuggets account for 2.99kg, 2.87kg, and 2.12kg of CO2 equivalents, respectively.
The lowest emitter was a large fries, which carries a carbon footprint of 0.15kg of CO2e.
McDonald’s has made moves as of late to improve its environmental impact.
The chain recently announced it was reducing the amount of virgin fossil fuel-based plastic in its happy meals by 90 percent.
However, some have criticised the chain for not doing enough.
Stephanie Feldstein at the Centre of Biological Diversity, a non-profit focusing on animal protection, has called out McDonald’s for its half-hearted efforts.
“McDonald’s serves billions of burgers a year, with massive consequences for our climate.
“According to the company’s own records, beef is responsible for 29 percent of its carbon footprint,” Feldstein says.
She urged the fast food giant to overhaul its menu, specifically, by bringing the meat-free mcplant burger to all stores and actively reducing the amount of beef it serves.
Photo: Mcplant burger