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Study Claims Europe's Microwave Ovens Emit As Much CO2 As Nearly 7 Million Cars

For a long time, everyone has been pointing the finger to cars’ carbon dioxide emissions playing a big part in the climate change that’s affecting the planet. Well, guess what: a new report out of Europe indicates that microwave ovens are also having a serious impact on CO2 levels.

A study by the University of Manchester determined the emissions of carbon dioxide produced by microwaves during their construction, use, and all the way through to waste disposal. What they found out is that, in the European Union alone, microwave ovens emit as much carbon as nearly 7 million cars, The Guardian reports.

What’s more, the emissions of 19 microwaves used over a year are the same as those from a car. Mind you, by the end of the decade, annual sales of microwave ovens in the European Union are expected to reach 135 million.

“Efforts to reduce consumption should focus on improving consumer awareness and behavior to use appliances more efficiently. For example, electricity consumption by microwaves can be reduced by adjusting the time of cooking to the type of food,” the authors of the report state.

Even so, professor of carbon management at the University of Edinburgh, David Reay says that consumers should be more concerned with the CO2 produced by cars than the environmental impacts of microwave ovens.

“Yes, there are a lot of microwaves in the EU, and yes they use electricity. But their emissions are dwarfed by those from cars – there are around 30m cars in the UK alone and these emit way more than all the emissions from microwaves in the EU. Latest data show that passenger cars in the UK emitted 69m tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2015. This is 10 times the amount this new microwave oven study estimates for annual emissions for all the microwave ovens in the whole of the EU,” Reay said.

Although no one is suggesting you should discard your microwave oven for good, it is eye-opening to discover the CO2 emissions that just one everyday appliance produces.

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