A scientific study has revealed that if every household swapped just one red meat meal for a plant-based equivalent each week, the nation's greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by 50 million tonnes.
To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent of 16 million cars being taken off the road and would also cut the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions by 8.4 per cent.
The research was conducted by Joseph Poore, on behalf of The Meatless Farm Co.
Poore was the lead author of a recent global study looking into the environmental advantages to be had from changing our diets. In doing so, he compared red meat meals with their plant-based equivalents, subsequently analysing everything from the production on the farm, to lifecycle environmental impacts, energy use, transportation, packaging and packaging disposal, along with the food loss and waste that occurs at each stage.
It also found that it could lead to a 23 per cent reduction in the UK's domestic and international farmland use, along with a two per cent reduction in water use - the equivalent of 55 fewer showers per person each year.
The findings prompted The Meatless Farm Co to launch The Meatless Consumption Target, which is aiming to encourage Brits to start having one more plant-based meal each week by 2021.
Rob Woodall, CEO of The Meatless Farm Co explains: "It’s no secret that plant-based is becoming increasingly popular and most of this is being driven by a new generation of ‘flexitarians’. The real challenge is getting traditional meat eaters to adopt a more plant-based diet."
"That’s why The Meatless Consumption Target is so important – it’s a powerful yet simple way of introducing more plant-based eating. It isn’t about being strictly anti-meat either - we can drive real change by striking a good balance. Just by swapping one meat meal to plant-based once a week we can collectively have a huge impact on the environment."
A One Poll survey was also carried out on behalf of The Meatless Farm Co, looking into the nation's attitude towards meat-free products and the environment. A key part was the news that 42 per cent are aiming to increase the number of meat-free meals they have over the next 12 months.
Interestingly, 56 per cent also said they would eat more meat-free alternatives if it meant they were more aware of their positive impacts on the environment.