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!