A new poll from environmental NGO’s City to Sea and Friends of the Earth found eight out of 10 customers in the UK would support government action to roll out more refillable product schemes.
Released on World Refill Day (16 June), the research found almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents think plastic pollution is as bad or worse than it was prior to the pandemic. Of those surveyed, three quarters said they would like more refillable options for products such as laundry detergent, coffee and dried food. In addition, 55% of respondents said they would like to see supermarkets and other big brands take greater steps to tackle plastic waste.
The research was conducted in May this year, with 2000 adults surveyed.
While many businesses were forced to turn away reusable plastic in response to the pandemic, now that there is a tentative return to business as usual, calls to crack down on plastic once more have begun to rise.
“These latest figures support what organisations like City to Sea and Friends of the Earth have been long saying; we need nothing short of a refill revolution,” said Jo Morley, City to Sea’s head of campaigns. “We need business and government to have reduction, reuse and refill as their absolute priority. This is about putting action behind the words that have long promised to implement the waste hierarchy that clearly puts recycling as a last resort after all efforts to reduce, reuse and refill have been exhausted.”
City to Sea and Friends of the Earth are calling on the UK Government to build their post-pandemic strategy around the pillars of refill and reuse, as well as implement stricter targets on plastic pollution. Alongside the call, a new petition has been launched by Break Free From Plastic alongside WeMove Europe to mark World Refill Day, calling on individuals throughout Europe to commit to reuse.
The UK Government currently has a target of net-zero ‘avoidable’ waste by 2050, and net-zero ‘avoidable plastic waste’ by the end of 2042.