‘Ethical’ Brits make dubious choices

They say actions speak louder than words, and now research has exposed the gap between the number of Brits who identify themselves as ethical consumers and those who actually make ethical choices.

Nine in ten Britons surveyed by hospitality software provider Fourth, claimed to be an “ethical consumer”, however 40% said they throw out plastic takeaway boxes most weekends and half still purchase bottled water.

Although 81% claimed to be avid recyclers, 35% admitted to not putting coffee cups in the correct bin, and 16% said they throw out carrier bags at home.

And while as many as 92% of the 2,000 people surveyed claimed they were frustrated with the amount of plastic supermarkets used, one in five said fruit and vegetables needed to be wrapped in plastic or polystyrene packaging.

“The statistics clearly show that we have become more environmentally aware as a nation, but that we’re struggling to put this into practice,” said Catherine Marshall, communications director at Fourth.

The survey did reveal signs of progress on certain environmental issues with just one in twenty Brits saying they would still request a straw in bars.

Two thirds, meanwhile, said they would always boycott a brand that lacked an ethical conscience, manifested in actions such as tax evasion and providing poor working conditions for their staff.

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