Working towards a sustainable environment

Plastics is a sustainability topic that rarely dies down and the past few weeks were no different. Here, edie rounds up the key findings of several new surveys on attitudes to plastics, capturing the changing opinions of businesses and consumers alike.

These surveys explore the changing attitudes of shoppers and SMEs to the plastic pollution problem

These surveys explore the changing attitudes of shoppers and SMEs to the plastic pollution problem

Two years may not seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things – but looking back since that episode of Blue Planet 2 launched in late 2017, it is clear that the conversation surrounding plastics waste has become exponentially louder, with businesses, consumers and governments alike igniting a worldwide revolt against single-use plastics.

Against this backdrop of consumer activism for plastic-free packaging and national plastic bans, ever-changing and ever-stricter legislation surrounding items such as plastic straws and stirrers, and collective business action against plastic pollution, more and more research into attitudes towards plastics are beginning to emerge.

Here, edie rounds up the key findings of several of the key plastics-focused surveys published over the last few weeks, to help gauge how business and consumer attitudes are changing as the war on plastics rages on.

Ubamarket’s supermarket sweep

Earlier this month, retail app developer Ubamarket revealed the results of a survey among 2,003 adult shoppers in the UK, which quizzed them on their attitudes to the sustainability actions taken by supermarkets.

Among findings concerning the supermarket sector’s emissions from livestock and agriculture, as well as heating and cooling, plastics stood out as a key sticking point for the survey’s participants. Here are the key facts and stats from this research. 

Pro Carton’s Easter egg hunt

Following on from its extensive survey into the British public’s attitudes towards packaging recycling and sustainability last year, industry body Pro Carton recently asked 2,030 UK consumers whether their new knowledge of the global plastic pollution problem would alter their choice of Easter Egg.

Of these people, who were all aged 18 or over….

Close Brothers Asset Finance’s SME survey

Big-name corporates have bared the brunt of the war on plastics, with consumers unwrapping products during demonstrations and petitioning for change from this part of the business community – and with laws such as the plastic bag charge only applying to larger firms at present. But SMEs also have a part to play in the plastics reduction puzzle.

During a 2018 survey, financial services provider Close Brothers Asset Finance asked representatives from 900 UK SMEs what they were doing to reduce their plastics waste footprint. Here are some of the stand-out results. 


 Sarah George