Breastfeed to save the planet, scientists say as study exposes infant formula damage to environment: ‘Breastfeeding for 6 months…equates to taking up to 77,500 cars of the road each year’
Breastfeeding for longer could help save the environment, scientists have said as they reveal Britain’s poor rates cause the equivalent of 77,000 cars worth of damage.
Experts at Imperial College London have for the first time calculated the harm to the planet from infant formula.
They found that, not only does it produce significant amounts of greenhouse gas due to the in creates for dairy cows, but it also depletes water and electricity, as well as producing waste.
Health leaders encourage mothers to breastfeed for at least the first six months after birth because it supplies all necessary nutrients in exactly the right quantities, protecting babies from disease.
Britain’s breastfeeding rates are among the lowest in the world, however, with just 34 per cent of babies still receiving any breast milk at this stage.
The Imperial team calculated that breastfeeding for six months would save up between 95 and 153 KG of carbon dioxide per baby.
This means that if all mothers in the UK followed the guidelines it would equate to taking up to 77,500 cars of the road each year.
Cow milk also has a large water footprint, up to 4,700 litres per kilogram of powder.