New BRITA research shows that half of Brits are suffering with ‘green guilt’

57% of Brits feel they could be doing more to reduce their environmental footprint at home. Learn how our new 'Greening Good Guide' aims to tackle the issue by encouraging the nation to get their green on.

Our new research shows that 57% of Brits are suffering with ‘green guilt'. The launch of our Greening Good Guide, alongside our brand ambassador, Joanna Lumley, tackles the issue by providing the nation with eco-friendly tips to help Brits achieve their top 'green resolutions'.

At BRITA, we recently commissioned a YouGov study that has revealed the nation’s feelings surrounding ‘green guilt'; a feeling experienced when we could, and should be doing more to help preserve the environment.

The research findings show that although 74% of Brits care about the planet and are motivated to make environmentally friendly choices, over one in four (28%) Brits experience ‘green guilt’ due to their non-sustainable lifestyle habits, and of those, three in ten (31%) feel this at least once a week. We were also able to uncover the nation's top 'green resolutions', creating a clear picture of the types of at-home behaviours we wish to change in the UK. 

In light of these results, our BRITA ambassador, Joanna Lumley, has called for Brits to take action by making small household changes to feel good about their green wins. Encouraging the public to 'get their green on', Joanna and BRITA have launched the 'Greening Good Guide’, which is packed with eco-living tips and advice on how to reduce your environmental impact at home. 

Here's a closer look at some of the survey highlights: 

Ocean Turtle Plastic Bottle

Single-use plastic & The 'Attenborough Effect'

Excessive single-use plastic (53%), including buying plastic bottled water and food packaged in plastic, was named as nation’s biggest green guilt. 

Sir David Attenbourough was cited in our research as Brits’ biggest inspiration to make more eco-friendly life choices (27%), however watching TV programmes about the environment and sustainability, such as David Attenborough's 'A Life on our Planet’, was also named as one of the biggest triggers for feelings of green guilt (35%)

Jars of Food in Pantry - Zero waste

Emerging trends

The research identifies reducing food waste (32%), buying products with less or no plastic packaging (24%) and making food from scratch (20%) as the most popular everyday sustainability trends to have emerged from lockdown.

Meanwhile, one in seven (15%) have started upcycling – finding new uses for items, such as turning old jars into glasses – 13% have started growing their own fruit and veg, and one in eight (12%) have turned to composting.


Greener credentials

Three-quarters (77%) of Brits say green guilt impacts their shopping choices, with one in five (21%) saying they actively shop for items with greener credentials.

Over four in ten (42%) also admit to ditching plastic bottles in favour of a reusable water bottle in a bid to be more sustainable.

Meanwhile, just under four in ten (39%) have made an effort to stop buying fast fashion in order to reduce their environmental impact, whilst one in four (25%) are rethinking travel and going on fewer holidays by plane.

Recycled food

Environmental impact

Environmental considerations are also impacting consumer spending behaviour - while two-thirds (65%) say they want to be more sustainable in order to help the planet, 34% are driven by a desire to make cost savings.

One in five (21%) also admit that they feel guilty about eating meat due to the environmental impact, with one in eight (13%) now eating a vegetarian diet in order to combat feelings of guilt, whilst another 8% have adopted a fully vegan, plant-based diet.

Rebecca Widdowson, Marketing Director at BRITA UK commented: “With the ongoing focus on the plastic pollution crisis, it’s clear that households are making an active effort to reduce their plastic footprint - 53% are recycling, 43% are reducing their single-use plastic consumption, and 42% have turned to reusable water bottles, in order to live more sustainably.

“However, there’s still a way to go with 22% claiming not to know which products are better for the environment. Our research has shone a light on areas where we can all do better and how BRITA can assist with reducing household single use plastic by opting to use filtered water within the home and re-usable filter water bottles outside of the home.”

Conquer - Joanna Lumley Zoomed out - Fade to White

Powerful images from Mary McCartney

To support the launch of our 'Greening Good Guide' and visualise the growing issue surrounding household plastic waste, photographer Mary McCartney captured powerful images of our brand ambassador, Joanna Lumley, surrounded by plastic waste at a waste facility, dressed entirely in sustainable clothing.

Header Image - Joanna Lumley - Fade to White 2

A word from Joanna

“There is no reason for anybody to be hiding their green guilt. Even the smallest household changes can have the biggest impact. From making and mending clothes, to swapping bottled water to a BRITA filter to get great tasting filtered water from the tap, I want to urge everyone to read the BRITA 10 Steps to Greening Good Guide and do their bit to make a small change which will make a big difference – you’ll feel great for it!”

Related content

Headquarter_710x400 mobile image

News & Stories home

Return to the News & Stories homepage.


69% of Britons would change their behaviour to manage a global crisis such as environmental threat

Results from our new BRITA survey suggest that remote working could be the solution to single-use plastic pollution as people cut down on unsustainable choices while away from the office.

Plastic filter cases sorted for recycling


Discover what happens to your BRITA filters once you drop them into a recycling collection point

[i] Founder of Operation Sea Clean, Laurent Lombard, warned that there could soon be “more masks than jellyfish in the waters of the Mediterranean”

[ii] BBC report on Starbucks ban on reusable cups