Over Four Fifths Of UK Consumers 'Concerned' About Plastic Pollution

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Over Four Fifths Of UK Consumers 'Concerned' About Plastic Pollution

Some 83% of UK consumers are 'concerned' about the level of plastic pollution in their weekly shop, new data from environmental charity City to Sea has found, up from 75% in May 2021.

City to Sea worked alongside Obsurvant to survey more than 2,000 UK respondents about their awareness and attitudes towards plastic pollution, as well as their habits when it comes to reusing materials.

Among the core findings was that three quarters of respondents believed that the UK government should make tackling plastic waste a priority.

It also found that close to two-thirds (64%) are eager to reduce their use of single-use packaging when shopping for groceries.

Some 81% of those surveyed use reusable shopping bags, while 65% own a reusable water bottle.


Legislative Support

“Retailers such as M&S, Aldi and brands like Ecover are leading the reuse and refill mission by undertaking trials which are showing great results," commented Jane Martin, CEO of City to Sea.

"However, businesses must have legislative support to meet consumer demand. This includes governments setting legally binding reusable and refillable packaging targets alongside single-use plastic bans."

When respondents were asked to identify what was preventing them to reduce their use of single-use plastics, the majority cited a lack of availability of sustainable alternatives.

More than two thirds felt that brands should do more to offer reuse and refill packaging, with 71% saying that they would view brands 'much more favourably' if they did so.


“To create a plastic-free future, governments must set out incentives and foster opportunities for businesses to transition from single-use packaging," Martin added.

"Our research shows just how important the plastic problem is to the British public and their desire for reuse and refill alternatives. We will continue to work with policymakers, businesses, and consumers to create a reuse revolution.”

Marks & Spencer and Reposit

City to Sea currently operates a partnership with Marks & Spencer and Reposit on implementing a returnable packaging alternative for private-label cleaning and laundry products, which is now available in 23 M&S stores across the UK.

"As the public continues to move away from single-use packaging, we call on brands and retailers to build on this momentum by committing further to reuse schemes," added Stuart Chidley, co-founder at Reposit.

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