ECO-Conscious Brits Are Cutting Plastic, But Confused On How They Can Help Most

Business Insights

A survey conducted by Gazelle found that:

  • 83% of Brits are making more effort than ever to cut their use of plastic

  • 81% say that they want to do more to help the environment but feel confused about what can and cannot be reused or recycled.

  • 57% admit to having put a phone, laptop or tablet into a bin

  • Two thirds (67%) consider environmental factors when they go shopping.

Latest figures show that 83% of Brits are making more effort than ever to cut the amount of plastic they use and throw away. Women are leading this plastic-cutting charge with 90% saying their desire to use less is higher than ever.

However, the survey, which was carried out by the phone-recycling company, Gazelle, also found that over 35million Brits (57% of those surveyed) are still risking dangerous chemicals leaching into the ground and contaminating our soils and waterways, by throwing away electronic gadgets such as old phones.

The ‘Attenborough effect’ as it’s becoming known is in evidence. Eight out of ten people (81%) who have watched shows like Blue Planet and Climate Change: The Facts say that the programmes have made them re-evaluate their behaviour and consider the environment more.

For example, when at the supermarket, 67% of shoppers now consider environmental factors when choosing what to buy, rather than selecting products solely based on price.

Yet despite Brits’ noble intentions, eight out of ten (81%) of us say that they want to do more to help the environment, but feel confused about what can and cannot be reused or recycled.

Over half (57%) of those surveyed admit to having put a phone, laptop, tablet, charger, or other electrical item in the household bin in the last year. And on average, just one third of us (34%) have recycled our phones or tablets.

Well intentioned, but ultimately ill-informed Brits tend to go online to find out how to reduce their impact on the environment, with nearly 9 in 10 Brits saying that would consult the internet on specific eco-advice.

“It’s been estimated that only 15-20 percent of all e-waste is recycled, and the rest ends up in landfill1.”

said Yanyan Ji, SVP Marketing at Gazelle.
“Our latest research suggests the cause of that isn’t consumers being unwilling to change their behaviour – rather, they don’t always know what to do.

“Here at Gazelle, we’re hoping to play our part by making it clearer and easier than ever for people to trade in old phones, get instant payment, and avoid contributing to e-waste in landfill. Our 26 kiosks across the UK will even take phones that are beyond repair, and responsibly recycle them, diverting them from landfill.”

When asked what they recycled, the top ten was found to be:

    1. Plastic bottles: 92 %

    2. Cans: 88 %

    3. Newspapers and magazines: 86 %

    4. Cardboard: 86 %

    5. Glass bottles: 85 %

    6. Hard plastic containers: 70 %

    7. Batteries: 59%

    8. Aerosols: 56 %

    9. Mobile phones and tablets: 34 %

    10. Televisions: 26 %

This survey was conducted between 21st and 24th May by Mortar London during which time it was completed by 2,000 respondents.

Gazelle kiosks1 reduce electronic waste and find value in used electronics. The kiosks are simple to use, efficient, and provide instant payment for smart recycling. Whether your old device is outdated, broken or simply unused, a trip to a Gazelle kiosk can aid both your bank balance and the environment.

More information on Gazelle, what it does to reduce e-waste, and finding a kiosk nearby in the UK, can be found on the company’s website,