TOMORROW’S TABOO: SINGLE-USE PLASTIC

• Six in 10 Brits say single-use plastic will be completely socially unacceptable by 2021

• Seven in 10 say common single-use plastics should carry cigarette packet-style warning labels

• Top celebrity icons team up with Sky Ocean Rescue and Project 0 to launch #PassOnPlastic Reusable Range to inspire people to #PassOnPlastic in their everyday lives

• Limited-edition range available for purchase today from Sky.com/POP

7 November, 2018 – Swigging from a single-use plastic water bottle will soon become as unacceptable as smoking, with consumers supporting use of tobacco packet shock tactics to drive change, new research reveals.

In response, Sky Ocean Rescue and ocean conservation organisation Project 0 have joined forces with top celebrity icons including Kate Moss, Harry Kane, Cara Delevingne, Sienna Miller and HRH Princess Eugenie of York to launch a limited-edition reusable product range today, to inspire people to #PassOnPlastic.

The independent study commissioned by Sky Ocean Rescue found that nearly six in 10 Brits believe single-use plastic will become a social taboo by 2021. So, while disposable plastic is still a part of daily life, with 70% of Brits saying they still buy or accept single-use plastic multiple times a week, the tide is starting to turn.

Seven in 10 claim they have reduced their plastic usage in the past year because of its impact on the environment and oceans. As social consciousness around the issue grows, nearly six in 10 Brits (56%) predict single-use plastic items, such as water bottles, coffee cups, food wrappers and cutlery, will become socially taboo within the next three years.

A further four in 10 (41%) say they now feel embarrassed being spotted with single-use plastic and a quarter (24%) have gone so far as to challenge others for using these disposable items.

However, while there might be a will, many Brits feel they are still lacking a way to go single-use plastic free. Only a third (32%) say supermarkets help them to reduce plastic use, a figure which drops to 17% for restaurants and cafes, 12% for online retailers and 11% for independent retailers.

With our oceans increasingly polluted with plastic, seven in 10 Brits say they would support drastic action in the form of warning labels, such as those seen on tobacco products, placed on common single use plastic items, including plastic bottles, coffee cups, bags, straws and cutlery.

Commenting on the research Anjula Mutanda, psychotherapist, says: “The research reveals a shift in attitudes towards single-use plastic - people are starting to have an emotional response, with many saying they now feel ‘embarrassed’ when they use it. This indicates two key psychological factors at play: a growing discomfort about usage and an increasing willingness to start to change behaviour.

“Through external persuasion and repeated messaging, we can challenge attitudes and change behaviour, not only for the individual but for the wider community. This can then lead to mass peer pressure to “do the right thing”, so that these changes gradually become our new normal”.

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In response, Kate Moss, Harry Kane, Cara Delevingne, Sienna Miller, Rita Ora, HRH Princess Eugenie of York, Fearne Cotton, Ronnie Wood, Will Poulter and Bob Geldof have joined forces with Sky Ocean Rescue and ocean conservation movement Project 0 to launch a reusable limited-edition product range to help and inspire people to #PassOnPlastic. 

The products offer reusable versions of the five most common single-use plastic items currently contributing to the quarter of a tonne of plastic entering our oceans every second*. All proceeds from the range will go to initiatives protecting ocean health, including Sky Ocean Rescue’s partnership with WWF-UK, which helps to safeguard marine protection areas covering 400,000km2 of our oceans. 

Each artwork was created with a bespoke ocean-related design for the new Pass On Plastic range, which includes a reusable water bottle, a coffee cup, a tote bag, an on-the-go cutlery set and a three-piece beeswax wrap set – an alternative to cling film. 

Fiona Ball, Sky Group Head of Inspirational Business and Sky Ocean Rescue, says: “Our new research reveals that there has never been a stronger desire from people to make positive changes to reduce their single-use plastic footprint and start saving our oceans. “What’s more, we’re aware that increasingly people won’t accept mindless consumption of plastic. They’re ready to start taking action to solve the problem and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why we are so proud to help them make these changes. We’ve partnered with Project 0 and some of the best-known names in the UK today to create a range of reusable products that not only look good but do good.” 

The range is available to purchase from Wednesday 7 November at Sky.com/POP and at the Pass On Plastic pop-up shop at 20 Beak Street, Soho, London from Thursday 8 November for two months, while stock lasts.