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.”