8th May 2021

Go fizz free for your health and for your planet

Most of us know that fizzy drinks are bad for our health, but many don’t realise they harm the environment too.  

Somerset County Council is encouraging everyone to reconsider their choice of drink and take part in Fizz Free February for a healthier future. 

 SUGAR SMART is bringing together public health messages such as tooth decay and obesity as well as shining a light on the environmental impact of fizzy drinks, be they sugary or sugar-free. 

Fizzy drinks pile on the empty carbs and create a larger carbon footprint. Sugar Smart have explored the impact of bottled soft drink overconsumption on the climate, including water use, soil erosion, plastic pollution and local communities in detail. Here are some punchy facts to motivate everyone to kick the fizzy habit for the rest of the month – and for life. 

Fizzy drinks carry a heavy carbon footprint:  

  • One 330ml can of cola embodies the equivalent of 170g CO2. A can of diet cola is only marginally less impactful at 150g CO2. A glass of tap water only uses 0.03g CO2. 

Fizzy drinks take up much more than shelf space: 

  • The UK land used to grow sugar beet, a key fizzy drink ingredient, is equivalent to the land used for all other vegetable crops combined. 
  • Sugarcane, another main ingredient, is a major contributor to deforestation. To meet current demand, farmers will need to cultivate nearly 50% more land by 2050. 

Fizzy drinks pollutethe bodyandthe environment: 

  • In the UK, 43% of soft drink bottles are not recycled after use. These bottles take 400 years to fully decompose.

Fizzy drinks use a lot more water than they offer: 

  • It takes up to 310 litres of water to make one 500ml bottle of fizzy drink. 

Cllr Clare Paul, Somerset County Council’s member responsible for health and wellbeing, said: “Many soft drinks are often high in sugar, which significantly contributes to weight gain and dental decay. 

“This is a fantastic way to cut down on your sugar intake and make positive changes, for your health and for the environment. Good luck to all those that take up the challenge.” 

Make the pledge to go fizz free for the rest of February. Share your progress and motivations by tagging @SugarSmartUK and using the hashtag #GoFizzFree.