plastic straw
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite the greater awareness among consumers about single-use plastics, many UK shoppers are unaware some items they use on a regular basis contain plastic, finds a new study by Kantar Worldpanel.

Some 21 percent of respondents in the survey were blissfully unaware that the teabag from their daily cuppa is sealed with plastic. Similarly, 38 percent of shoppers did not realise that wet wipes contain plastic and are not easily biodegradable.

At the same time, the survey of 21,545 consumers shows consumers are increasingly concerned about plastic waste. For example, 44 percent of respondents say they have recently become more concerned about single-use plastics, and 70 percent plan to change their behaviour in some way as a result.

And while attitudes are changing, shifting long-held habits may prove more difficult. For example, only 34 percent of respondents said they’re happy to switch to more sustainable alternatives such as a reusable coffee cup when picking up their caffeine fix.

With the majority of consumers planning to more sustainable alternatives or buy and use less, disposable carrier bags, bottles and straws are the items most likely to fall out of favour, noted a statement from the research firm. Other categories could follow suit as alternatives become more widely available.