Over two million Brits never recycle plastic says report


Research conducted by MPA has found that even after the plastic pollution issue has been driven home by the media, environmental groups and programmes like Blue Planet II, 3% (the equivalent of two million) of UK adults still don’t recycle any plastic at all.

The innovation specialist did however find that over four in five (83%) of UK adults support the plastic straw ban, and (88%) said they always try to recycle, although 60% of respondents stated that they need help to reduce the amount of plastic they use.

According to the MPA research, the top five most common personal efforts to reduce packaging included: trying to re-use disposable items like plastic bags (67%); making an effort to buy fewer goods with unrecyclable packaging (32%); buying more products made from recycled materials (24%); trying to avoid supermarkets and shops that don’t use recyclable packaging (8%); and paying extra for goods with 100% recyclable packaging (6%).

One in six (17%) of respondents didn’t think the plastics pledge would make a difference to the level of waste produced, and one in ten (9%) saw no difference between plastic or paper bags with regard to the environment.

When it comes to paying extra to save the environment, 26% said they wouldn’t pay more for products that are good for the environment, with 28% saying they consider whether or not a product is labelled as environmentally friendly before making a purchase.

“Packaging is a huge industry in the UK, accounting for annual sales of around £11 billion, and our research has found that consumers are shunning single use plastics and unsustainable packaging in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint,” comments Stuart Bentley, delivery manager at MPA. “Although there is some way to go before we become a completely plastic-free society, Government schemes such as the plastic straw ban and its investment into making the country a global leader in sustainable packaging will definitely play its part.”