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Today, single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds have been banned in England. It has been estimated that people in England use approximately 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds each year. These astonishing statistics clearly showcase that the notion of sustainability is a primary concern, in particular when it comes to the retail sector. This ban comes as welcome news, as according to Greenpeace, UK supermarkets are responsible for a whopping 58 billion pieces of plastic a year.
In light of this, Ubamarket- a pioneering app in retail technology - has commissioned nationally representative research that showcases exactly why environmental awareness has become such a concern for retailers as of late, and justifies the need for retailers to implement mobile technology:
82% - nearly 43 million - of UK shoppers believe the level of plastic packaging on food and drink products needs to be changed drastically
57%, or 30 million, think that plastic pollution is the single greatest threat to life and the environment in modern history
77% of Brits, representing more than 40 million nationally state that, no matter how much they recycle, it is the manufacturers and supermarkets that are causing the most plastic pollution
Ubamarket have now launched a 'Plastic Alerts' feature to offer retailers and customers alike a solution to combat their sustainability concerns. This allows shoppers to scan every product in-store for information on the recyclability of any packaging. Customers then receive a "sustainability score" at checkout, to see where they can easily make changes to shop more sustainably.
Will Broome, CEO and Founder of Ubamarket, discusses the importance of sustainability moving forward for Britain's retailers and provides insight into the role of technology in the movement towards a more sustainable future of retail:
"It's extremely encouraging to see the Government taking major steps towards creating a more sustainable future for the food retail sector, and retail across the board. It is imperative that other retailers take heed of this and work quickly to establish their own sustainability goals and action plan.
Implementing mobile technology, such as that provided by Ubamarket, is one effective way for retailers to get ahead of the curve - not only can it improve in-store efficiency and provide access to useful data for the retailer, but Ubamarket's Plastic Alerts feature allows customers to shop according to the recyclability and environmental footprint of different products, and enables the customer to scan packaging for information on whether it can be widely recycled or not. We have also shown that customers spend 21% more on their shop using Ubamarket's technology, but less of their shopping goes to waste as they purchase more of what they consume most.
It is my hope that we see more sustainability initiatives in the coming weeks and months, and I would strongly encourage retailers to look into the benefits of mobile technology, for sustainability and increased success."