New research reveals the power of Blue Planet II and how it’s changed attitudes and behaviour

The survey was commissioned by the charity Keep Britain Tidy ahead of this year’s Great British Spring Clean.

New research reveals the power of Blue Planet II and how it’s changed attitudes and behaviour

The author(s)

  • Ben Page Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI
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Environment wins as public back litter-picking and turn away from single-use plastic

More than 70% of people say they now view tackling litter as more important than they used to and nearly three quarters (75%) say they feel more appreciative of people who pick up litter according to a new survey carried for environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy by Ipsos MORI.

The findings will be discussed at today’s Keep Britain Tidy Network Conference, in Manchester, which aims to be the country’s first Tidy City by 2020.

In the survey, commissioned by the charity ahead of this year’s Great British Spring Clean, the country’s biggest-ever mass-action environmental campaign which aims to get half a million people out litter-picking between March 22nd and April 23rd, 42% of us also say we are more likely to pick up litter now, rather than walk past it.

More than two-thirds (67%) also say they try  to purchase less single-use plastic than they used to, and eight out of ten people say they think people who litter-pick are vital to protecting the environment.

An analysis of the research shows that among those who had seen or were aware of Blue Planet II, the figures are even higher suggesting a major impact from the programme:

  • 47% of those who watched Blue Planet II say they would like to get involved in a litter pick, compared to only 17% of those who hadn’t seen or heard about it.
  • 78% say they try to purchase fewer single-use plastics, compared to 37% of those who haven’t seen or heard about it.
  • 77% say they are more aware of the things people are doing to help tackle litter, compared to 39% of those who haven't seen or heard about it.
  • Eight out of ten say they view tackling litter as more of a priority than they used to, compared to five out of ten who haven’t seen or heard about it.
  • 82% feel more appreciative of people who pick up litter than they used to, compared to 54% of people who haven't seen or heard about it.
  • More than half (53%) say that since the debate over single-use plastics in the UK media, they now pick up litter when previously they might have walked past it, compared to 26% of people who haven't seen or heard about it.
  • Almost nine out of ten (87%) of those who are aware of the debate over single use plastic express admiration for people who go litter-picking,saying they are vital for helping to protect the environment in the UK, compared to 59% of people who haven't seen or heard about it.

These new figures come after 2018 research by Ipsos MORI also revealed that, when it comes to the environment, 46% of British people put tackling waste at the top of their list of priorities, ahead of global warming (29%) and future energy supplies (29%). It also showed that, as a nation, we are more concerned about dealing with waste than the rest of the world, as globally only 30% see it as a priority.

Ipsos MORI Chief Executive and Keep Britain Tidy trustee Ben Page said:

The British are now more worried about packaging than most other countries. Programmes like Blue Planet II and the debate in the media about single use plastics seem to have been a catalyst for raising awareness and helping change behaviour on littering.

Technical Note

Ipsos MORI's survey was carried out between 25 - 28 January 2019.  The survey was conducted online with the Ipsos I Say Panel in the UK, with quotas for a nationally representative sample of adults in the UK aged 16-75 Data have been weighted to the known population profile.

The author(s)

  • Ben Page Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI

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