Common steps households are taking to reduce environmental harm revealed

5 June 2021, 00:04

Bottle recyling
Recycling. Picture: PA

Some 87% of people are taking at least one action with the explicit purpose of minimising their environmental impact, Which? said.

Around nine in 10 people are taking steps specifically to reduce their impact on the environment, a survey has found.

Consumer group Which? asked people which actions, from a list of 10, they perform regularly to reduce their impact on the environment, such as limiting their use of single-use plastic.

It found 87% take at least one action with the explicit purpose of minimising their environmental impact.

The most common measure households take is recycling, with (80%) doing it explicitly for sustainability reasons.

Meanwhile, just over half (53%) of people use products in energy efficient ways, such as washing clothes on low temperatures, specifically to help the environment.

Other common measures consumers take to lower their environmental impact include repairing rather than replacing items and borrowing or buying second-hand rather than buying new products.

Which? also found more than half (55%) of people are regularly taking at least four measures to reduce their impact on the environment, while a third (32%) are doing six or more.

These findings were published as Which? launched a new podcast called Which? Investigates to mark World Environment Day, exploring sustainability issues.

Sue Davies, head of consumer rights and food policy at Which? said: “Which? is committed to helping consumers to adopt more sustainable behaviour and will continue to work with policymakers and businesses to ensure people get the right amount of support to make choices that are less harmful to the environment.”

More than 3,600 people were surveyed across the UK.

Here are the percentages of people undertaking tasks regularly, specifically to reduce harm to the environment, according to Which?

– Recycling household waste, 80%

– Limiting use of single-use plastics and non-recyclable products, 61%

– Using products in energy-efficient ways, 53%

– Switching off appliances rather than leaving them on standby, 47%

– Repairing rather than replacing items, 38%

– Choosing brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values, 34%

– Deciding not to buy products because of how they were produced or manufactured, 28%

– Borrowing or buying second-hand rather than buying new products, 26%

– Using public transport or other shared modes of transport, walking or cycling, 22%

– Cutting down on or avoiding meat and dairy products, 22%

By Press Association