Study Claims British People Think Taxes Will Cut Plastic Pollution, But Don't Actually Want to Pay Them

By Tom Pritchard on at

People have been going on about plastic pollution for quite some time, and David Attenborough's Blue Planet II really helped emphasise the problem to the general public. Now a study claims that a lot of British people believe supermarkets are to blame, and support taxes to penalise the ones that use non-recyclable packaging. Unsurprisingly people tend not to think they're the ones to blame and aren't so keen on fining households for not recycling properly.

Data collected by YouGov and Ipsos (via Indy100) found that 48% of people supported taxing supermarkets that use non-recyclable packaging, with 45% supporting naming-and-shaming those that do. 41% of people are in favour of taxes on containers that can't be recycled, like coffee cups, and 47% support forcing councils to invest more in recycling and ensure more things actually get recycled. Shockingly, but not really, only 25% of people were in favour of fining households that don't do their part.

When asked about what they could do to solve the plastic problem, people were all for simple things that don't affect their lives too much. Things like re-using things like plastic bottles and bags (75%), buying more products made with recyclable materials (54%), and stop buying things that can't be recycled (43%). Only 18% of people would stop going to offending supermarkets, 14% supported paying more council tax to improve recycling facilities, and 12% were in favour of paying extra for non-recyclable packaging.

The good news is very few people claimed to have zero knowledge of the plastic problem, even if those who did were resistant to any changes that might negatively affect their bank balance. Something has to be done about all the plastic, and considering the recent news that the plastic bag charge is already helping to cut down on waste it seems as though negative reinforcement does work.

Maybe a tax on non-recyclable packaging would do a bit of good. [Indy100]

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