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Plastic survey results

Your views on plastic pollution and how we should be tackling the problem.

In April 2018, we asked what you think about the issues around plastic waste and pollution, and what steps you'd be interested in taking to address them.

Over 800 people responded to our online survey, which was sent out via our newsletter and on social media.

We've made the results available in full and picked out some of the key findings, too.


Plastic pollution has got everyone worried


Nine in 10 people want to cut down the amount of plastic they use...


... but there are some big obstacles

When it comes to reducing personal plastic waste, the biggest barrier among respondents to our survey is the availability of non-plastic alternatives. Nearly three-quarters of people (72%) said that has an impact, while 70% said they receive unexpected plastic even when they make an effort to reduce the amount they're throwing away.


Improving our recycling system could be a huge help

Nearly six in 10 people (56%) we asked said they'd reduce their plastic waste if their council offered an improved recycling service. 80% said more non-plastic alternatives would make a difference, while 57% said making these alternatives as convenient to use as plastic would mean they throw away less.

Our plastics programme

The complexity, scale and urgency of the plastic pollution challenge means it’s something we must tackle together — from individuals at home to governments and industries.

We don't have to ban plastic altogether

Although 39% of people we asked said single-use plastic is always a bad choice and we should stop using it completely, 50% said we should look for alternatives only in most cases. 10% said single-use plastic can actually be a good choice, as long as it can be reused or recycled.


Charges for plastic use shouldn't be the government's top priority

Just one in 10 people said charges should come first for the government. Roughly half (49%) said banning the unnecessary use of plastic should take priority, while 18% said investing in finding alternatives to plastic should be top of the agenda.


Businesses need to think about plastics from the very start

A third of people we asked said businesses should prioritise cutting the amount of plastic they use in the design and manufacture of their products above any other measure. 29% went a step further, saying the priority should be removing plastic packaging from their products, while 16% said the best thing businesses could do is to invest in better alternative materials.

Image: iStock/vchal

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