New research finds that two-thirds of people are reducing their plastic use

Pic: Ben Mierement,

A new study carried out for Keep Britain Tidy by Ipsos MORI has found that 67% of people surveyed said they purchased less single-use plastic than they used to.  

The survey focused on people’s views towards litter and found that more than 70% now believe that tackling litter is more important than they used to, with almost 75% feeling more appreciative of people who pick up litter. 


These findings will be discussed at today’s Keep Britain Tidy Network Conference in Manchester.  

The research also found that eight out of ten people said they think people who litter-pick are vital to protecting the environment. 

An analysis of the research revealed that among those who had seen or who knew about Blue Planet II, the figures increased, demonstrating how much the programme has influenced people’s behaviour. Findings include: 

  • 47% of those who watched Blue Planet II said they would like to get involved in a litter pick, compared to 17% of those who hadn’t seen or heard about the show 
  • 78% said they tried to purchase less single-use plastics, compared to 37% of those who hadn’t seen or heard about Blue Planet 
  • 77% said they are more aware of the things people are doing to help tackle litter, compared to 39% of those who hadn’t seen or heard about it 
  • More than half (53%) said that since the debate over single-use plastics within the media, they now pick up litter when they previously might not have 
  • Eight out of ten people said they view tackling litter as more of a priority than they used to, compared to five out of ten who hasn’t seen or heard about the programme. 

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “These findings are great news for the environment. As the UK’s leading anti-litter charity seeing that nearly 90% of people support our heroic volunteers is everything. We love our work, fighting litter and its causes everywhere people live, work and play and to know the public do too is a fantastic boost. 

“The level of support for this year’s Great British Spring Clean from both our partners and the public has been astonishing and reflects the findings of this research. Together, we can realise our ambition to create a litter-free environment for everyone to enjoy.” 

These new figures follow 2018 research by Ipsos MORI that revealed that when it comes to the environment, 46% of British people put tackling waste at the top of their list of priorities. It shows that as a nation, we are more worried about dealing with waste than the rest of the world, as globally, only 30% see it as a priority, according to Keep Britain Tidy.  

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