What are consumers prepared to pay when it comes to plastic pollution?

Business in the Community used Ipsos Mori to poll consumers on their attitudes to tackling the environmental problem, while challenging companies to double the UK’s resource productivity and reduce avoidable waste by 2030.

23 November 2018
packagingplasticsupermarketssustainabilitystatistics

  • In a survey of nearly 2,300 adults, price increases to re-invest in more environmentally friendly and/or recyclable packaging had the lowest level of support at 39%.
  • However, there was more support among 16-24 year olds with 45% of the age group supporting price hikes.
  • The highest socioeconomic groups were also more enthusiastic (40%) about price rises than more hard-pressed Brits.
  • But 82% of consumers were in favour of a reward-based system where money-back incentives encourage the return of used packaging.
  • Other ideas that gained strong support include dedicated places to return used packaging (80%) and store loyalty points (79%).
  • Despite UK Government proposals for a tax on single-use plastic packaging and a bottle deposit return scheme, the survey found 39% of people disagreed with the idea of items containing plastic costing more, even if the money was ring-fenced into sustainable investment.
  • As part of the Business in the Community challenge, which is part of the Prince of Wales network, 40 businesses have signed up to set targets, redesign how resources are used, collaborate across industries and report on their progress annually. This includes Greggs, Iceland, Marks & Spencer and Unilever.
  • Seven ‘waste to wealth’ champions representing key areas identified by Defra will develop and deliver innovation hubs to pinpoint challenges, create roadmaps and start to create innovative solutions as part of the programme. These include Burger King, Nestle, Sainsbury’s and Sodexo.

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