Microwave use across the European Union (EU) emits as much carbon dioxide as nearly 7 million cars, said a new study released by the University of Manchester on 17 January 2018 evening. It highlighted that in 2005, across the EU, 184,000 tonnes of EE waste was generated from discarded microwaves and by 2025 this is estimated to rise to 195,000 tonnes, or 16 million individual units being sent for disposal.
The study by the UK-based university found that microwaves emit 7.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year in the EU, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 6.8 million cars. EU comprises of 28 member countries, including France, Germany, UK and Sweden. The researchers recommended that efforts to reduce consumption should focus on improving consumer awareness and behavior to use appliances more efficiently. They suggested that electricity consumption by microwaves can be reduced by adjusting the time of cooking to the type of food.
The researchers used life-cycle assessment (LCA) to estimate the environmental impacts of microwaves, taking into account their manufacture, use and end-of-life waste management. They investigated 12 different environmental factors, including climate change, depletion of natural resources and ecological toxicity.