Image: © adrian, acediscovery via Flickr

We’re running out of bubbles

And just when the World Cup is kicking off... this is bad.

Usually you only ever hear about us trying to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we release into the atmosphere. Now, we’ve not got enough of the stuff, and people are panicking.

What it means: For beer and soft drinks industries, CO2 is a pretty irreplaceable substance. It makes drinks fizzy, carbonates beer, and is used during the packing process. Less happily it’s also used to stun and kill animals in slaughterhouses.

CO2 is produced from ammonia plants. At least five gas producers across northern Europe have shut down their plants for maintenance this spring… which happens every summer, except now the producers we’d usually go to instead have all had ‘technical breakdowns’. Oops.

We tend to drink more beer and fizzy things around the summer anyway, and now that it’s World Cup season, we’re really chugging it down: Brits drank 14 million more pints than your average Monday beer consumption during the England-Tunisia match. Better get those technical breakdowns sorted before Sunday, or there’ll be mayhem…

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