- Following the Government’s decision to water down key environmental policies, and with a ban on plastic items coming into effect on 1 October, new polling reveals public support for greater action on plastics
- 70 per cent think that the Government should be doing more to reduce plastic use, whilst 73 per cent would support a ban on plastic takeaway boxes
- Just Eat is calling on the government to make sustainable packaging alternatives become more widely available and affordable for businesses and consumers
29th September, London - As the Government looks to row back on its environmental commitments, new research from Just Eat shows strong support for measures to tackle plastic waste, which tops the list of the public’s environmental concerns - above water quality, extreme weather and air pollution.
This comes as a ban on the supply of a wide range of single-use plastic items, including plates, trays, bowls and cutlery, comes into force in England on 1 October. The research found that 70 per cent of people think the Government should be taking further action to tackle plastic use, with 73 per cent supporting extending the ban to single-use plastic takeaway boxes.
The study, conducted by YouGov, shows that a quarter (25 per cent) of respondents are actively reducing the amount of plastic they purchase or use, whilst half (52 per cent) said that they were trying to make small changes. For example, nearly all respondents (97 per cent) said they take a reusable bag for food shopping and 8 in 10 (84 per cent) use a refillable non-plastic water bottle.
While plastic waste continues to be a concern for the British public, the research points to a decline in people willing to pay a premium for more eco-friendly packaging, when compared to polling initially conducted by YouGov in April 2019 off the back of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II.
With the cost of living crisis continuing to bite, Just Eat’s research also shows that the public is now less willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly packaging compared to standard packaging (33 per cent, down from 50 per cent in 2019).
With this in mind, Just Eat is calling on the Government to commit to taking action to reduce plastic waste and specifically the use of plastic takeaway boxes. Just Eat wants to see government action to support the sustainable packaging sector, essential to making these items more widely available and driving down costs for businesses and consumers.
This campaign is part of Just Eat’s wider mission to raise awareness of the barriers facing restaurants when it comes to implementing sustainable packaging and its mission to reduce plastic waste in the takeaway sector. The business has been supporting its restaurant partners in this area for years, including by removing branded plastic packaging in Just Eat’s webshops where alternatives are available. Just Eat’s aim is to offer sustainable packaging for all cuisine types and the business is continuing to test new plastic-free solutions as well as reusable options.
Just Eat is also committed to investing in the development of sustainable alternatives with a variety of partners. For example, Just Eat has been working with Notpla since 2018 to develop innovative alternatives, including seaweed-lined takeaway boxes, which are fully recyclable and home compostable and are being rolled out to restaurant partners across multiple global markets.
Reducing plastic in the takeaway sector is a core mission for Just Eat. We are committed to using our scale and influence to drive change across the industry, supporting our restaurant partners and investing in innovative packaging solutions with exciting partners like Notpla. Plastic waste is a significant environmental issue and our research shows it’s still a top concern for consumers. If we are to make this work, action is required not just from the public, but wider industry and policymakers. We’re calling on the Government to prioritise the environment and commit to taking further action to reduce plastic waste.Robin Clark, Director of Partnerships and Sustainability at Just Eat