40% of SMEs have not engaged in basic measures to help cut plastic waste, reveals poll
24th July 2019 15:14 - Business Support
40% of SMEs have not engaged in basic measures to help cut plastic waste: A survey of small and medium businesses (SMEs) has revealed many still have a long way to go in employing basic measures to help reduce single-use plastics.
The research for Keep Britain Tidy polled 1,000 SME decision makers and found that four in ten polled (40%) said they have not looked into basic measures for reducing plastic waste within their company such as auditing or supply chain engagement.
Just over half (52%) said they were 'doing what they could' to reduce plastic waste.
The survey found that just three in ten (30%) have proactively encouraged employees to think about using reusable containers instead of single use products, while 20% said they have replaced some of the single-use plastics used by employees. Since this time last year, 14% have made filtered drinking water taps or fountains available in the workplace to help reduce the amount of single-use plastic used.
While 70% say that staff at work seek to reduce the amount of plastic they use, more than a third of SMEs said the lack of engagement from employees is preventing any course of positive action.
Three-quarters (76%) of decision makers say they are motivated to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in the workplace because of a concern for the environment, however, one in five said they are not motivated by environmental concerns. For 44% of SMEs polled, setting up stations to encourage recycling is not something they see as their organisation's responsibiliy.
Of those who have taken steps to combat plastic waste, 15% say they have taken measures to replace single-use plastic items from their supply. Six percent (6%) say they have conducted an audit looking at their consumption of single-use plastics at work, while 4% said they have incentivised customers to opt for non single-use plastic alternatives.
The survey also found 23% of SME leaders felt it was their company's responsibility to help customers to reduce plastic usage, while 22% felt their company were duty-bound to lead the way in cutting back on single-use plastics.
Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said:
“There are some 5.7 million small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, accounting for 99% of all businesses – so we need them to take action alongside the household names.”
Sign up for free insights from your sector…
We hope that you have found this article useful. This section is freely available for all to use. Please help support it by liking us or following us on our social media platforms:
For updated Business Support insights please follow us on @DJS_BusinessSup or use our RSS feed