Wed 1 Aug 2018 17.01 BST
Findings come as part of a pledge by the owners of Canary Wharf in London to become world’s first plastic-free commercial centre
Retailers are likely to face a consumer backlash if they fail to take action to curb plastic use, according to a survey by the owners of Canary Wharf in London.
The operators of Canary Wharf are pledging to become the world’s first plastic-free commercial centre, in partnership with the campaign group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).
As part of their commitment to become plastic-free, Canary Wharf Group carried out an audit of consumers, retailers and corporate businesses within the commercial and residential area, stretching across 16.5m square feet. It revealed 94% of businesses, consumers and retailers were keen to do something to reduce plastic use.
The survey found consumers in particular felt they were using a lot of unnecessary plastic in their daily lives. The vast majority – 84% – said they would show more loyalty to a brand or organisation that was taking clear action on plastic. But the report said that retailers did not seem to be aware of the growing public pressure on plastic use and showed a degree of complacency.
“Consumer scrutiny of plastic is at an all-time high with shopper protests against single-use plastic and packaging breaking out in supermarket aisles across the UK,” the report said.
“It may be only a matter of time before smaller retail outlets face a similar backlash if they aren’t seen to be doing enough to curb plastic use.”
The report identified plastic food packaging as a major concern, and said more recycling bins and better signage were needed.
Hugo Tagholm, chief executive of SAS, said Canary Wharf was attempting a world first and he encouraged other business centres to take similar action.
“We’d like to see other global financial centres take similar action on single-use plastics in the interest of healthy and happy communities everywhere,” he said. “Given the scale of threats to our coasts and marine habitats there could not be a more important time to take action on plastic pollution.”
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