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“More action” needed on UK plastics

“More action” needed on UK plastics

September 20, 2018

New independent research from compostable packaging company TIPA has revealed that the majority of consumers feel the British Government’s measures to combat plastic waste don’t go far enough.

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to eliminate plastic waste by 2042, but 56 percent of consumers surveyed believe the existing attempts – such as the 5p (6¢/5c) plastic bag charge, introduced three years ago next month – are no longer enough, and that more urgent action is needed.

Research of 2,000 UK consumers revealed that it’s the oldest age group which cares most about plastic waste, with 89 percent of 55+ year-olds saying they are concerned, compared to 73 percent of 25-34 year olds, and 70 percent of 18-24 year olds. According to TIPA, “this indicates that this isn’t a trend unique to younger respondents, who will inevitably have to deal with the problem for longer.”

At large – nearly a quarter of all respondents (22 percent) believe plastic waste should realistically be eliminated in the next 5-10 years, while 1 in 5 (20 percent) think the government’s 2042 target is realistic. At any rate, over three quarters (78 percent) of consumers agree that the country should be taking this action.

90 percent of consumers also said that they understand the issue of plastic waste, and the impact it has on the ocean, land and food chain. Reflecting this, 82 percent of people say they are concerned about the issue, with almost half – 44 percent – extremely concerned. Harming marine wildlife tops their concerns at 77 percent, potentially due to recent shows like BBC documentary Blue Planet II highlighting the scale of the problem. This is followed by harming land wildlife (69 percent) and then harming human health, ranking third behind wildlife at 56 percent.

Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO and co-founder of TIPA, said: “Avoiding the damage caused by single-use plastic is the very reason I founded TIPA, but we were surprised at just how strongly consumers feel about the issue of plastic waste and how eager they are to see action. The UK public is now very aware of the issue of plastic waste and beginning to understand that most packaging used by retailers goes to landfill, recycling plants are unable to handle many types of plastic waste and biodegradable doesn’t mean that the plastic disappears completely. This research shows that Government and private organisations need to work together to swiftly bring through new types of packaging which leave no trace on the environment and alleviate these justified consumer concerns.”

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : Government Plastic Waste United Kingdom

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