Survey finds that 83% of UK SMEs believe plastic waste is a problem

Neil Davies
Neil Davies CBAF chief executive

A survey has found that 83% of UK SMEs believe that plastic waste is a problem, leading 63% of those surveyed to implement their own initiatives to reduce the amount they create.  

The survey of 900 businesses was conducted on behalf of Close Brothers Asset Finance and found that more than 4 in every 5 businesses (83%) answered “yes” to the question “do you feel that plastic waste is a problem?”.  


From this, 63% of those surveyed have adopted initiatives to reduce their use of plastic.  

The survey also found that the smaller the firm, the less likely they are to be doing something about the plastic problem, relying instead on individuals to take action themselves.  

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Close Brothers Asset Finance chief executive Neil Davies said: “With the environmental damage caused by plastic waste becoming increasingly clear, companies are taking it upon themselves to do something about it. It looks as if momentum is building, with over half of those polled having actively investigated alternatives to plastic.” 

Of the 900 business owners surveyed, 58% of firms feel they aren’t being incentivised enough to reduce the amount of plastic waste they use and produce, with the lack of encouragement felt mostly in companies where there are less employees.  

Over half of firms (54%) polled have investigated alternatives to plastic, with the food and drink sector the highest (67%), followed by retail (59%) and then manufacturing (59%).  

Neil Davies added: “There is an obvious demand for alternatives from both consumers and businesses. Industry is clearly part of the solution and not the problem, and with a history of innovation I strongly believe more options will become available in the foreseeable future, ranging from utilising existing waste to create energy to the manufacture of less harmful packaging products.” 

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