I was opening up a bottle of Coke the other day and got to wondering. What percentage of global CO2 emissions were caused by the release of CO2 found in soft drinks?

I have done some digging to get the numbers I require for this incredibly rough estimate. I will point out that these figures are very far from accurate as I have not tested anything myself, just grabbed and crunched what figures I could find.

**How Much CO2 in a Bottle of Soda**

I came onto a blog article by Dr. Davig G. Haase, “How Much CO2 is in a Bottle of Soda”. I will not go into great depth on how he made the calculations, you can read his article for that, but the end result was an estimated 2.2 grams of carbon dioxide per 454 mil bottle of Pepsi One. (I will assume that the numbers for Coke and all other soft drinks would be about the same.)

**Soda Consumption**

I found it difficult to get figures on soda consumption, but I did find this random site, DentalGentleCare.com . I have no idea where they get their numbers, but they claim that the average American drinks more than 53 gallons of carbonated soft drinks each year. Lets assume this is true. If we take the population of the US as of July 2007 (according to cia.gov ) of 301,139,947, this gives us a total of 15,960,417,191 Gallons of soda. Really? Wow! 1 US gallon = 3.78 liters, so this makes a total annual consumption of soda in the US roughly: 60,330,376,981.

**CO2 Emissions from Soda**

60 Billion liters of Soda? That’s insane. I should double check these sources to find others that confirm this, but I’m lazy – lets assume its correct. If this is true, that would result in 292,602,328,362 grams of CO2 emissions from Soda in the US each year.

Lets get an easier number to work with. According to google 1 gram is equal to 0.00220462262 pounds. If we do the math that equals 645,077,711 pounds of CO2, or, since 1 metric ton is equal to 2204 pounds, that works down to 292,684 metric tons of CO2 – I know cause I made an excel sheet.

Now that we know the numbers for Soda, lets figure out what percentage this is for the total US emissions. The total annual CO2 emissions is estimated at 27,245,758,000 metric tons according to, yes I know, Wikipedia .

So now we can break this down we end up with a really small number. 0.001% of all CO2 emissions in the US are contributed by Soda. (1 thousandth of 1 percent).

So there you have it. If you drink soda you are contributing to the end of the world, 4.85 grams at a time.

Raw Data

– Grams of CO2 per liter of soda: 4.85

– US population (July 2007): 301,139,947

– Soda consumed by average American Each Year: 53 Gallons

– Liters of soda consumed: 60,330,376,981

– Annual CO2 (in Grams) from soda: 292,602,328,362

– Annual CO2 (in Pounds) from soda: 645,077,711

– Annual CO2 (in Metric Tons) from soda: 292,684

– Total annual CO2 emissions in US: 27,245,758,000

– Percentage of total CO2 released by soda: 0.001%

*Note: I just realized that I have no idea where the CO2 that the soda companies put into the beverages comes from, so perhaps, the CO2 would end up in the atmosphere anyways?*

*I also do want to once again point out that some of these numbers may be flawed. 53 gallons of soda per year on average per person seems insanely high to me, but this is not a scientific study, so I just used the first plausible figure I found. If you want to take the time to do this same research, and if you come up with a drastically different number than me I would love to hear the outcome, so leave me a comment!*

OK—now, how about those emissions from the huffing and puffing at all the local exercise joints—or cycling, jogging, mountain lion avoiding sites?

It’s 6 billion tons CO2 for the US. 28 billion is worldwide.

Hi Sam,

Have you got a source for that by chance? If so, I will update the article…

“53 gallons of soda per year on average per person seems insanely high to me”

It doesn’t sound that high to me. 53 gallons would equate to just over a gallon a week. The swapping of units is a little distracting but I’ll continue the pattern; 1 gallon is approximately 4 litres, which would be two 2-litre bottles.

Now I know I personally don’t drink anywhere near that, maybe 2 litres a month, but I’m sure that for every one of me, there’ll be plenty of others that would drink much more.

Here’s a source of numbers for the UK perspective http://www.britishsoftdrinks.com/default.aspx?page=878

Apparently Brits consume “6,065 million litres, or 98.3 litres per person” (26 US gallons). Which isn’t too far off your 53 US gallons.

you forgot about beer, champagine, any sparking water like perrier or san pellegrino, also compressed co2 from whipped cream chargers and paintball guns. however human/animal respiration created more co2 than any of those so we are our own grim reapers

CO2 is used in many, many restaurants not only to put the “sparkle” in sparkling soft drinks, but to move the syrups from Bags-in-Box to the dispensers themselves. Industrial gas companies generate a large part of their revenues by selling CO2 to food service operations.

This is ridiculous!

You are ignoring the fact that most of the CO2 from fizzy drinks is ingested and broken down in the stomach and intestines.

Why did I just read this?

Co2 is not broken down in the stomach, it is either burped out or absorbed into the bloodstream where it moves to the lungs and becomes exhaled

At no point did I say it was broken down in the stomach….

Cool that you did the legwork and figured this out already, as the idea just popped into my head and I googled it right away, not really expecting to find the answer right away.

I see you converted from grams to pounds and then back to metric tons – in the future, you can save yourself a lot of effort by simply moving your decimal place for the amount of grams three places to the left to get kilograms, and three more places to the left to get metric tons. That is an exact conversion, as a kilogram is 1000 grams, and a metric ton is 1000 kilograms (or 1,000,000 grams).

Believe it or not commercial grade CO2 is a byproduct in the production of natural gas.

Take some comfort then in the fact that all those full cans and bottles form a huge carbon sink. If you can’t plant a tree. Store a couple cases of Pepsi or Coke.

53×128=6784oz’s

6784/365=18.5863014oz’s,a little bit less than a 20oz bottle of beverage a day per person.Granted not everyone drinks Carbonized beverages but for ech person that don’t,their are many that drinks two or three times their share.Also,these calculations don’t seem to take into account fountain drinks or beer.They also don’t take into account CO2 lost into the atmosphere due to production.

you do understand that this idea that carbon dioxide is destroyed the plant is completely hokey, right?

So you don’t believe in Global warming? Do you still believe the world is flat and that Milli Vanilli sang their own songs?