Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents opposed the statement that businesses are doing enough to cut down on waste, according to a press release by Gartner, owner of software solutions company GetApp UK. Whilst 84 per cent of consumers would like more transparency regarding businesses’ sustainability measures.
Around 39 per cent of UK consumers surveyed have admitted that they had never heard of the concept of a circular economy before they were shown the definition. While 41 per cent of respondents believed companies take advantage of circular economy processes to benefit economically from government initiatives, 36 per cent perceived it as a greenwashing policy.
Furthermore, an overall majority of 89 per cent maintained that the government could be doing more to monitor company compliance with circular economy practices.
GetApp’s second study demonstrates how, much like businesses, consumers principally participate in the circular economy to save money. Fifty per cent stated they buy second-hand products to spend less, compared with just 12 per cent that do it for sustainability purposes.
GetApp’s study also reveals buyers’ passive perspective towards shopping for second-hand products, as 28 per cent admit to not doing it very often, whilst 15 per cent never shop second-hand. Some of the main reasons given by people who didn’t wish to shop second-hand were that they prefer new products (64 per cent), followed by their apprehension towards the quality of second-hand products (53 per cent) and concern regarding how long the item would last (48 per cent).
Additionally, 29 per cent of consumers don’t sell second-hand items very often. Of those that do, three times more consumers voted making money as the primary motivation behind selling second-hand items (54 per cent), in comparison to those that do it for sustainability purposes (18 per cent).
Overall, GetApp’s study uncovers how the circular economy model is not taken seriously enough by the UK government or businesses. This in turn generates mistrust among the UK public, and therefore reduces the likelihood of consumers themselves investing in it. Additionally, when they do participate, their primary motivations lie in also making money, instead of being more environmentally friendly.
“A large proportion of our sample (39 per cent) had never heard of the circular economy before. Yet, it seemed clear from our findings, that practices such as anti-waste, renewable energy, and reuse of materials, which are common circular processes, were regarded well by consumers,” said David Jani, content analyst at GetApp UK. “However, the public’s commitment to performing these practices themselves is still somewhat limited. It is also clear that the main incentive for doing so is saving money or earning additional income. This seems to reflect that whilst the circular economy is an everyday practice for many people, greater awareness and engagement are needed to drive sustainability in the UK.”
Data for the circular economy study was collected in July 2022, in which 1,027 UK consumers responded to GetApp’s survey.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)