The UK uses over one and a half times its land size to provide the nation with products such as food, clothing and biofuels, a new report by Friends of the Earth reveals today (Thursday 7 March). The environment charity is calling on the Government to reduce the UK’s resource use to cut our impacts on other countries, slash waste and save money.The report, ‘Hidden Impacts – How Europe’s resource overconsumption promotes global land conflicts’, also found that the UK imports more than its surface area in agricultural goods every year. These imports add to pressure on land around the world, leading to increased food prices and land-grabbing.

Friends of the Earth Senior Resource Use Campaigner Dr Michael Warhurst said:

“Land is one of the world’s most under-appreciated resources – from food and clothes to smartphones and tablets, everything we buy is grown on or contains parts taken from the land.

“The UK’s land-guzzling footprint is like eating a three course meal when you only need a snack – it’s excessive and we’re depriving some of the world’s poorest communities of their fair share.

“The products we consume in Britain directly contribute to water shortages, forest destruction and people losing their land.

“The Government must reduce the UK’s excessive land consumption to lessen our impact on communities and the environment around the world.”

Land footprint is land consumed domestically plus land used to produce imported products, minus the land which is used for producing products that are exported.

UK Map by NuclearVacuum

UK Map by NuclearVacuum

Image By NuclearVacuum [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

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