Image may contain: Person, People, Human

Scientists at UoM have discovered that sandwiches are actually really terrible for the environment

The £3 meal deal we all love so much is mostly to blame


For many students around the exam period, there's only one way to stay properly fuelled for long revision sessions: meal deals.

So popular is the sandwich, snack and drink combo amongst young people that a London real estate agent at Strutt & Parker brandished it a "luxury" that millennials should give up in order to get on to the property ladder. Sorry, no way is that happening.

Whilst the suggestion that a £3 meal deal from Tesco is what's preventing young people from moving on in the world may be absurd, is there a hidden cost to all these mass produced packed lunches?

Researchers at the University of Manchester have conducted a world-first study on the environmental impact of supermarket sandwiches. Unsurprisingly, the results show that they may be cheap on the wallet, but that the carbon footprint generated in producing sandwiches may prove costly for the environment.

Sandwiches containing pork were found to be the worst of the bunch when it comes to carbon emissions, with the "All-day Breakfast" sandwich (a student lunch favourite) creating the same amount of CO2 emissions as driving a car for 12 miles.

Cheese and prawns (weirdly) were also high up on the list of sandwich no-nos. Although do bare in mind, the study focused on the environmental impact of raising certain ingredients as well as transporting and refrigerating the poor old sandwiches. But this also means that even if you're opting for a home-made jobbie instead of the exquisite meal deal sarnie, that pre-made cheese and onion or prawn mayo mix may be just as damaging as a Tesco finest.

The study suggested that producers use less meat and cheese in their sandwiches, and that sell-by dates are lengthened to stop food waste.

Is our generation ever going to be prepared to give up meal deals? As global temperatures rise and ice caps melt, it may be time that young people considered the environmental effect of a quick prawn mayo sandwich on the way home.

Ultimately however, the advice to students is simple; make a sandwich at home. While it may be cheaper, healthier and better for the environment.