A majority of adults in the UK support the banning of single-use plastic items, a new poll has found.
The research suggests that there is widespread public support for businesses taking proactive steps to reduce consumption of items such as plastic water bottles or plastic straws — with seven out of 10 responders saying they would support retailers stopping the sale of them.
One in 10 customers meanwhile said that it’s currently “too hard” to buy products made from recycled materials or re-fillable beauty products, the Mirror reported.
The survey of 2,000 British adults was commissioned by the department store Selfridges as part of its wider initiative looking at how to make the business more environmentally friendly. Since 2011, the chain has partnered with the Zoological Society of London to run Project Ocean, which aims to reduce plastic waste across the company.
It also found that young people are leading the way on sustainable shopping — with more than half of 18-24-year-olds saying they shop for second-hand or vintage clothing, a far higher percentage than those aged 45 or older. Two-thirds of this age group said they were more concerned about the environment now than they were a year ago.
Half of responders also said they would be put off shopping from a company that did not sell environmentally friendly products.
“This survey data supports our understanding of youngest adult fashion shoppers, for whom there is no compromise when it comes to seeking out style that doesn’t harm the planet,” Daniella Vega, head of sustainability at Selfridges, said of the findings. “We’re committed to buying better and inspiring change so our customers do the same."
More than 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the oceans every year. This plastic pollution harms marine life and contaminates food and water supplies.
Progress is finally being made on curbing this damage — in March the European Union voted for a ban on single-use plastics to come into effect across the EU by 2021 – but there is still a long way to go and action from businesses to empower consumers to cut their plastic waste is vital.