ETHICAL peer-to-peer platform Abundance Investment has found that UK adults are more concerned with reducing plastic waste than worrying about Brexit.
The firm polled 2,000 adults for its Great British Money Survey, aiming to discover the key ethical and environmental issues which worry consumers and motivate investors.
It found that plastic waste was the top issue for consumers, with 81 per cent saying they are somewhat or extremely concerned about it, while 78 per cent said levels of waste in general were a worry. Brexit came fourth on the list at 73.5 per cent, followed by air pollution.
Reducing plastic waste is more likely to provoke people to take political or social action, such as signing a petition, than any other issue in the poll, with over 20 per cent saying they had taken action on this, compared with 13.5 per cent for Brexit.
Widespread concern about levels of waste, and plastic in particular, translates into support for using waste streams as a source of energy. The Abundance survey also asked respondents about their support for different renewable energy generation technologies. Results showed that overall levels of support for renewable energy remain high at over 80 per cent, with solar the most popular technology. It also shows very high levels of support for ‘energy from waste’ at 76 per cent.
When it comes to choosing which social or ethical sector to support through investment, energy from waste and recycling and repurposing waste technologies achieved the highest scores, at 29 per cent each, beating established green technologies such as wind and solar by a fair margin.
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“It’s encouraging to see the Blue Planet effect beating Brexit in the battle for the hearts and minds of the British public,” said Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint managing director of Abundance Investment.
“The ranks of green consumers, who seek ideal solutions to their personal impact on climate change, are being swelled by what we are calling the ‘ecopragmatist’. Ecopragmatists recognise that the transition to a more sustainable world is not easy and requires some common sense choices. Together they are helping to accelerate the change we need to see both in our everyday consumption and our long-term investment choices.
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“Our independent survey of the UK public should be a clear wake up call for business. If you aren’t doing something to reduce your use of plastic, or the impact of your waste on the wider environment, then you are out of step with eight out of 10 people. Businesses that put themselves on the wrong side of this tipping point will find themselves on the economic rubbish heap.”
Abundance is currently inviting investment in CoGen Limited, a project which diverts waste from landfill and incineration to produce lower carbon energy. The 4.5 year debenture will pay 10 per cent a year. Open for investment until 31 May, it is more than halfway to its fundraising target of £7m.