LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ninety-one percent of Americans consider the amount of plastic used in a product when making purchasing decisions, and 45 percent believe that producers – companies that make plastic products or wrapped in plastic – are most responsible for handling and solving plastic pollution problem, according to a new survey.
The survey, commissioned by British company Xampla, which makes the world’s leading plant-based protein alternative to plastic for commercial use, also found that more than half of respondents (57%) are very or extremely concerned about the issue. plastic.
Despite consumers’ conscientious approach to purchasing, they believe that companies that manufacture plastic products are most responsible for solving pollution problems.
“Consumers are clearly frustrated with this issue and are looking for companies to do better,” said Jeff Seabright, former Unilever chief sustainability officer who is also president of Xampla. “The mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle only scratches the surface of the problem. It’s time to reinvent, redesign and replace for the good of our planet and future generations.
Seabright, who led the White House Climate Change Task Force for the Clinton administration and whose three-decade-long career in sustainability has included serving as vice president of environment and water resources at Coca-Cola believes that producers need to rethink their role in the ecosystem. Instead of shifting blame to the consumer market, producers need to embrace innovation and take action. They must redesign products in harmony with nature, using natural and biodegradable components, and replace single-use plastics with non-polluting alternatives.
“The problem with plastic is our own engineering,” Seabright said. “Plastic is built to last, not to break down. By adopting the mindset of an innovator, producers can not only fight pollution, but also attract consumers who are increasingly looking to support – and to buy – businesses that have a positive impact on the environmental issues they care about.
Conversations about plastic pollution, the growing “plastic problem,” and failed solutions to the problem have been in the political arena for the past decade. State and federal entities have stepped in to implement legislation to change consumer and manufacturer habits to combat plastic pollution. More recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 54, requiring all packaging in the state to be recyclable or compostable by 2032, reducing plastic packaging by 25% over 10 years, and requiring that 65 % of all single-use plastic packaging is recycled within the same time frame.
“Government can make a difference,” Seabright added. “But consumers are right to point to brands and manufacturers as those who can have the biggest impact, the fastest.”
While legislation can play a role in building a solution to the problem, only 25% of Americans believe it is the government’s responsibility to find solutions to plastic pollution, while 30% said it is. It was up to consumers, compared to 45% who felt plastic producers were primarily responsible for finding solutions and alternatives, according to the survey.
“Producers have a responsibility to create products that don’t harm the environment,” Seabright said. “Through reduce, reuse and recycle campaigns over the past decade, consumers have taken responsibility for reversing the plastic problem, but we cannot reverse this pollution-destroying pattern without producers changing their practices. Consumers think producers have a duty to create products that create a positive impact, and they say they’re willing to pay more for eco-friendly alternatives.
Xampla’s study found that more than half of Americans (53%) are at least moderately willing to pay more for products that use no plastic, significantly less plastic, or non-polluting plastic alternatives.
About survey data
Pollfish responded to an online survey from a global network of respondents. All of the 1,000 random survey respondents were adult US residents, surveyed online between August 31 and September 1, 2022.
Xampla is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge. Its natural polymer resin has been developed over the past 15 years to replace the most polluting plastics in the world. The company has created the world’s first vegetable protein material for commercial use that functions exactly like synthetic polymers but breaks down naturally and completely without harming the environment at end of life. Xampla is the first UK university spin-out to achieve B Corp status and works with multinationals such as Britvic, Gousto and Croda on new technologies. www.xampla.com