From shopping consciously to reusing plastic, buying second-hand or using a compost bin, Brits carry out an average of six deeds per week that reduce their impact on the environment.
With so many of us trying to be more environmentally conscious, it’s no wonder that 66 per cent of Brits find that taking action to reduce their impact on the environment puts them in a good mood.
The new research, conducted by household cleaning brand, Ecover, also revealed that one in two (53 per cent) get a buzz from taking a ‘bag for life’ to the shops and a third (32 per cent) feel the same when opting for a reusable cloth over a single-use wipe.
Top 10 environmentally conscious activities that put Brits in a good mood:
1. Taking a reusable bag shopping 53%
2. Turning lights off when not in use 52%
3. Reusing food leftovers 45%
4. Washing out plastic containers and recycling them 45%
5. Turning things off at the socket when not in use 40%
6. Using a reusable water bottle 39%
7. Turning down the heating/using the heating less often 38%
8. Washing out packaging/ plastic bottles to reuse them 37%
9. Cycling or walking instead of driving somewhere 37%
10. Washing clothes at 30 degrees 34%
Nevertheless, a whopping one in two people (52 per cent) feel guilty about the amount of single-use plastic they use, with each household disposing of 7.4 plastic bottles on average each week, the equivalent of 385 per household per year – all contributing to the 300 million tonnes of plastic thrown away every year##.
There’s a desire for change, however, as one in five (19 per cent) want to prioritise refilling their products and pantries moving forward, confessing they feel guilty or embarrassed by the amount of plastic sitting in their recycling bin.
Furthermore, almost half of the UK (41 per cent) believe the government should be doing more to make refilling just as accessible as recycling, with two-fifths (38 per cent) already making an effort to visit zero waste shops to refill pre-owned packaging, when they can.
The study also uncovered that general lack of knowledge or confusion is a real barrier to recycling, as more than half of Brits (51%) are unsure what can and can’t be recycled, leading to feelings of embarrassment (19 per cent) and shame (18 per cent) when they put the wrong items in the recycling bin.
Ecover has supported the war to reduce plastic waste for decades. This year, the brand is on a mission to encourage the nation to join the Refillution®, fight the war on plastic waste and embrace a refill lifestyle – starting with their household products.
Tom Domen, Ecover’s Global Head of Long Term Innovation, said: “A small change can make a big difference. The simple act of refilling a plastic bottle can make you feel good, while also reducing the amount of plastic waste sent to landfill. Which is why we urge you to choose to reuse and join the Refillution® by opting for refillable, reusable household products you can use the packaging over and over and over.
Refill stations are becoming increasingly common across the country and a simple search will tell you where your local store is. By the end of 2022, we aim to help people refill their Ecover bottles over three million times in the UK, which would be the equivalent of one refill every 10 seconds###. Just remember that plastic can last a lifetime, so let’s all put it to work.”
Ecover is working in partnership with environmental plastic pollution campaigners, City to Sea. Through City to Sea’s Refill App close to a 1,000 Ecover Refill Stations have been mapped across the UK. The App directs customers to hundreds of thousands of Refill Stations across the world where customers can eat, drink and shop with less plastic.
City to Sea’s Founder and CEO, Natalie Fée commented: “We can’t solve the problem of plastic pollution without massively ramping up refillable and reusable packaging. And that’s what Ecover is on a mission to do. Through our partnership, we’re mapping more and more locations where customers can ditch their single-use plastic habit and embrace the Refillution®!”
She continued, “Globally, between 8 – 12 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean every year#### and it’s now estimated more than 150 million tonnes of plastics have accumulated in the world’s oceans. We need businesses to adopt Ecover’s stance and be more ambitious, and we also need our government to set legally binding reduction targets. And we should never forget the powerful role that ordinary consumers have in choosing to live with less plastic. When we demand change, change happens!”
Showing a real desire to adopt a more refill-focused lifestyle, it seems half (53 per cent) of Brits would use refill shops more if they had one closer to home. Similarly, more refill stations in mainstream supermarkets would see almost two-thirds of us (62 per cent) more likely to embrace reusing.