Environment charity calls on government to reduce UK’s resource use
Published:  07 March, 2013

Over one-and-a-half times the UK’s land size is used to provide the nation with food products and other necessities, a Friends of the Earth report has revealed today.

According to the environment charity, it is calling on the UK Government to reduce the country’s resource use to help cut how it impacts on other countries. The charity said: "Slash waste and save money."

The report, entitled ‘Hidden Impacts – How Europe’s resource overconsumption promotes global land conflicts’, has also discovered that the UK is importing more than its surface area in agricultural goods every year. Friends of the Earth said: "These imports add to pressure on land around the world, leading to increased food prices and land-grabbing."

Senior resource use campaigner for the charity Dr Michael Warhurst explained that land is one of the world’s most under-appreciated resources. He said: "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 defined as land that is consumed domestically, plus land used to produce imported products, minus the land that is used for producing products that are exported.