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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Key facts

Consumption and the environment - key fact 1

Private consumption expenditure grew by 35 % in the EU-27 Member States between 1990 and 2007 with the greatest growth in the EU-12 Member States (75 %).

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Consumption and the environment - key fact 2

One-person households consume, on average, 38 % more products, 42 % more packaging and 55 % more electricity per person than four-person households.

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Consumption and the environment - key fact 3

Meat imports to the EU-15 increased by 120 % from 1990-2007. Cereal imports increased by 83 %, frozen vegetables by 174 %, and bananas by 92 % over the same period.

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Consumption and the environment - key fact 4

Consumption of bottled water has risen markedly in many European countries. The EU average was 105 litres per person in 2009 and varied from 16 litres in Finland to 189 litres in Italy. Energy is used in the manufacturing and transportation of the bottles and many are made from plastic derived from non-renewable resources (e.g. oil).

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Consumption and the environment - key fact 5

Personal mobility is estimated to cause 20 % of greenhouse gases, 19 % of acidifying emissions, 32 % of tropospheric ozone precursors and 15 % of material resource use activated by national consumption.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100