The UK is set to lead technology and innovation in sustainable plastics in the drive to net-zero

 The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced that new forms of packaging and plastic made from plants, wood chippings and food waste could be a step closer, thanks to new business and Government investment.

Businesses are expected to jointly invest up to £149m, alongside a £60m Government investment, to help fight the global battle against single-use plastics. The funding could be used to find ways to cut waste in the supply chain, develop new business models and create new sustainable recyclable materials. This could include using plants instead of oils to make plastic, which will help reduce their carbon impact.

Ubamarket, the retail app, has commissioned nationally representative research across a sample of 2003 UK adults to find out how Brits feel about plastic packaging in our supermarkets.

This research is released alongside Ubamarket’s feature ‘Plastic Alerts’, a new industry first that allows supermarket shoppers to easily identify the most environmentally friendly products.

  • 82% – nearly 43 million – of UK shoppers believe the level of plastic packaging on food and drink products needs to be changed drastically
  • 77% of Brits, representing more than 40 million nationally, think that, no matter how much they recycle, they feel it is the manufactures and supermarkets that are causing the most plastic pollution
  • 44% of respondents, representing 23 million nationally, actively purchased products that have less of an impact on the environment, even if they were more expensive
  • 42% – 21.7 million nationally – of the British public want to be more environmentally conscious but feel they do not know enough about recycling and plastic pollution to make informed changes
  • 41% of respondents, representing 21.6 million nationally, believe that plastic packaging is having an adverse effect on their health
  • 65%, or 33.8 million nationally, want to make the switch to more environmentally friendly products but feel that these products are often significantly more expensive

Retailers are making a concerted effort to reform as this year has been filled with concern for the levels of plastic waste that are being produced. Consumers have been placing the pressure on retailers to reform and give them a wider range of plastic-free alternatives on offer in stores.

Will Broome, CEO and founder of Ubamarket, commented: “British consumers are more aware of plastic use and pollution than ever before, and this announcement from the Government is a positive step in the right direction. According to Ubamarket’s latest research, over 80% of us think food and drink packaging needs to drastically change, but 42% of Brits don’t feel informed enough about recycling to make the right purchases. These new forms of plastics and packaging, along with the right education, if adopted by retailers, will help cement the UK as a driving force in sustainability and reduce our single-use reliance drastically in the coming years.”