78% of Australians are concerned about the use of plastic in the nation
April 19th, 2024, YouGov

78% of Australians are concerned about the use of plastic in the nation

The theme for Earth Day 2024 is Planet vs. Plastics, aiming to raise awareness of the harms of plastic pollution for human and planet health.

In light of this, YouGov conducted a survey that found an overwhelming 78% of Australians are concerned about the use of plastic in Australia.

Even more Aussies, 81%, are concerned about the use of plastic worldwide, and 63% are concerned about usage in their own home.

But how are Aussies acting on their concern?

To actively reduce the use of plastic in their daily routine, over half of Australians are carrying reusable shopping bags (71%), re-using takeaway containers for storage (53%) and carrying a reusable bottle or cup (51%).

However, across the board, women are far more likely than men to practice habits that reduce plastic in their daily routine.

Over half of women will also avoid using plastic cutlery (53%), avoid using plastic straws (53%) and reuse plastic bottles for future use (51%). Less than 40% of men would practice each of these habits.

Despite this, men and women were much more aligned when it came to future use of numerous everyday single-use plastic products.

Australia has seen bans of plastic straws and even plastic grocery bags. However, many feel that the bans should not stop here.

61% of Australians would support a ban of disposable coffee cups, 57% coffee machine capsules, 57% condiment sachets, 56% plastic wrappers for food items, with another 56% supporting a ban on cotton buds made from plastic parts.

Aussies were less inclined to support a ban for bubble wrap or cling film, supported by less than half the nation, 48% and 44% respectively.

Along with bans of single-use plastic products, in the past, Australian initiatives have stretched even further, offering a way to recycle soft plastics at local grocery stores: REDcycle.

However, in 2022 this program was suspended when it was revealed that the initiative hadn’t managed to recycle the plastic and was keeping the waste in storage facilities.

Two thirds (66%) of Australians said that this suspension had a moderate or significant impact on their confidence of Australia’s recycling efforts.

However, it was announced earlier this year that a new Soft Plastics Recycling Trial will follow a similar return-to-store format as REDcycle. 74% of Aussies said they would still be likely to use this method to dispose of soft plastics.

16% were unlikely, and 9% unsure.

Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online between 15 and 17 April 2024, with a national sample of 1,046 Australians, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, and location to be representative of all adults in Australia (18 years or older) as per the latest population estimates provided by the ABS. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.