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Assessing and reducing the environmental impact of tea cultivation

Code: 9781838796198
Thushari Lakmini Wijeratne, Tea Research Institute, Sri Lanka

Chapter synopsis: Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Consequently it has become an important plantation crop in many countries. As a perennial crop occupying a large proportion of arable land, assessing its environmental impact would benefit the economy of tea growing countries immensely. This chapter reviews the impact of the tea industry on the environment and human activity. It covers the life cycle assessment methodology tailored to tea production, covering cultivation to final waste disposal, its carbon footprint as well as all the other different on- and off-farm impacts caused by the tea industry. Further possible measures to minimize these impacts are also discussed. Two case studies address the CO2 sink/source nature of tea plantations as the cultivation stage is one of the most significant contributors to the carbon footprint of tea. There is a growing awareness of the environmental impact of any commodity on the market. Therefore, the future trends in research requirements for the sustainability of the tea industry are also briefly explained.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0036.20
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 The environmental impact of tea cultivation 3 Making tea cultivation more sustainable 4 Case studies: carbon sequestration and production 5 Summary and future trends 6 Where to look for further information 7 References

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