Keep Britain Tidy - BRITA bottles

Supporting businesses and the public to reduce plastic waste

Since 1955, Keep Britain Tidy has worked as an independent charity to eliminate litter, reduce waste and improve public places. Its projects have focused on creating clean beaches, parks and streets, promoting sustainable practices and eliminating unnecessary waste.

Why we work with Keep Britain Tidy...

BRITA has long been committed to offering consumers more sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic and supporting efforts to protect the marine and wider environment. Given Keep Britain Tidy’s aspiration to end waste and improve the environment for future generations, this was a natural partnership founded on a shared commitment to reduce single-use plastic waste.

BRITA and Keep Britain Tidy have a long-standing partnership focused on improving our understanding of the key barriers and opportunities to reducing single-use plastic waste. Working together, we have conducted novel research into the behaviours and attitudes of businesses and individuals to try and understand how to foster more sustainable practices.

As a result, BRITA and Keep Britain Tidy have been working in partnership for the past three years, conducting new research to try to improve our understanding of these key issues.

How BRITA collaborates with Keep Britain Tidy...

Plastic waste on a beach

Research and discovery

In order to tackle the scourge of plastic waste in the UK, we need to understand why people opt for single-use plastic items. BRITA and Keep Britain Tidy have conducted several studies into attitudes around purchasing a single-use plastic water bottle, rather than opting for tap water refills and carrying a reusable bottle.

The first project, entitled ‘Water, Water Everywhere’, commenced in 2017, and explored public attitudes to asking for a glass of tap water or refilling a reusable water bottle on-the-go. We found that more than 70% of people in the UK feel uncomfortable asking for a glass of tap water when out and about.

In 2018, forming part of BRITA’s wider #SwapForGood campaign, our ‘Water, Water, Everywhere: Moving from awareness to action on single use plastic bottles’ report expanded on previous research and explored the triggers and barriers to increasing uptake of reusable water bottles.

Staying hydrated on the go is absolutely vital for our health but it can be really difficult to do so without buying another plastic bottle, which if not captured for recycling, can cause long-term damage to the marine environment and increase the amount of litter in our public spaces.

Together, BRITA and Keep Britain Tidy are working to fully understand the challenges of tackling single-use plastics and to identify potential solutions to make real progress towards a more sustainable future.

Children presenting their ideas to reduce waste

Tackling Plastics In Schools

In 2018, BRITA and Keep Britain Tidy ran a joint project asking students to offer solutions to single-use plastic waste.  The project, which was run at schools in Hampshire and London, asked pupils to keep a ‘plastics diary’ in order to understand how much disposable plastic was used in their home in order to first improve awareness of the scale of the single-use plastics challenge.

Pupils were then asked to suggest ideas that could help reduce unnecessary plastic waste. The ingenious solutions included a points-based system incentivising people to choose reusable bags, a ‘Very Important Bottle’ queue for school lunches and a live ‘plastic-o-meter’ counting the volume of single-use plastics consumed each month.

The children who participated in the project presented their solutions to in Parliament, delivering a powerful message to policymakers that children and young people want to see action on single-use plastics.

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Helping business tackle plastic waste

Most recently, BRITA and Keep Britain Tidy set out to learn more about the key obstacles facing businesses across the UK in tackling plastic waste. Following a YouGov survey of more than 1,000 employers, combined with a number of in-depth interviews with industry-leading companies and a co-creation workshop to discuss viable interventions, the final report offers new insights into the attitudes and behaviours of businesses of all sizes to single-use plastic waste.

The last few years have certainly seen a sea change in our awareness of the impact of single-use plastic, but this now needs to be put into action. Following the publication of the ‘Role of Businesses in Reducing Plastic Waste’ report, BRITA and Keep Britain Tidy are looking to help businesses access the expertise, support and guidance they need to transform their operations and more actively embrace sustainability.

Download the full report: "Water, Water Everywhere: Moving from awareness to action on single use plastic bottles"

Water Water Everywhere 2018 Report

Water Water Everywhere 2018

(PDF, 570.24 KB) Download now

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