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Many consumers unaware everyday items contain plastic



Consumers are becoming more concerned about single-use plastics

Consumers are becoming more concerned about single-use plastics

While there is undoubtedly greater awareness among consumers about single-use plastics, many UK shoppers are unaware some items they use on a regular basis contain plastic, a new study of 21,545 consumers conducted via our Worldpanel Plus service finds.

The results show consumers are increasingly concerned about plastic waste. For example, 44% of respondents say they have recently become more concerned about single-use plastics, and 70% plan to change their behaviour in some way as a result.


Plastic is now ubiquitous and almost impossible to avoid in modern lives. However, in many cases respondents were simply unaware that some of the items they use regularly even contain plastic. Some 21% of respondents were blissfully unaware that the teabag from their daily cuppa is sealed with plastic. Similarly, 38% of shoppers did not realise that wet wipes contain plastic and are not easily biodegradable.

And while attitudes are changing, shifting long-held habits may prove more difficult. For example, only 34% of respondents said they’re happy to switch to more sustainable alternatives such as a reusable coffee cup when picking up their caffeine fix.

With the majority of consumers planning to more sustainable alternatives or buy and use less, disposable carrier bags, bottles and straws are the items most likely to fall out of favour. Other categories could follow suit as alternatives become more widely available.

Get in touch with a member of our Worldpanel Plus team to find out how you can use the service to get broader, faster, deeper insights.

Worldpanel Plus panellist survey, 11th May 2018, (21,545)

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