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THE UK’S GREENEST SUMMER

31 August 2019

Brits have their most eco-friendly summer yet with three in four making positive changes but there’s still a way to go to save the planet.

  • New survey results by sustainable cider brand, Old Mout, reveal almost three quarters (73%) of Brits took it upon themselves to be more eco-conscious this summer [1]
  • The brand that likes to champion little changes making a big difference reveals almost half (44%) actively tried to reduce their carbon footprint and one in four (24%) stated that David Attenborough had the biggest impact on their eco-choices this summer
  • Top changes Brits made were:
  • Over half (52%) swapped their single-use plastic bottles and coffee cups for reusable ones
  • One in ten (10%) explored alternative eco-friendly routes to travel
  • Almost a quarter (24%) switched to energy saving products
  • Over one in three (36%) think about whether a product is recyclable before buying
  • Over half (51%) encouraged their friends and family to make eco-friendly purchases
  • Almost a quarter (24%) bought less clothes, (17%) bought second-hand clothing and (15%) opted to fix their clothes instead of throwing them away

Against a backdrop of extreme temperatures making waves across Europe, the summer of 2019 will go down in history as one when the world sat up and paid attention. An in-depth study of 4,000 Brits by sustainable cider brand, Old Mout has taken a closer look at just how green summer 2019 really was.

We know that we still have a long way to go but this summer has proven to be good news for our planet, with nearly three-quarters of Brits (73%) who took it upon themselves to be more eco-friendly this summer and almost half (44%) actively tried to reduce their carbon footprint. In fact Old Mout’s research concluded that, the UK is fighting the good fight for climate change across four key areas.

Not plastic fantastic – 52% say no to single-use plastic

What’s the change?

Single-use may have been the Collins Dictionary Word of 2018 but the fight against them has carried on. As was the hope when the costs for plastic bags were introduced, it’s simply not en vogue to carry a bottle of water or coffee cup around these day. Results show that just this summer alone over a half of Brits (52%) swapped their single-use plastic bottles and coffee cups for reusable ones.

What’s the impact?

We all know where we can, we shouldn’t be using single-use plastic bottles anymore and as a result of 52% swapping for reusable ones, there has been 1.69 billion less plastic bottles used in the UK alone this summer[1].

Slowing down fast fashion – 24% bought less clothes this summer

What’s the change?

When it comes to Brits buying habits, we’re known as being a nation of shopaholics but this is something that’s changing for the better, with almost one in four (24%) Brits buying less clothes this summer, (17%) buying only second-hand clothing and (15%) opting to fix their clothes instead of throwing them away. On top of that, almost half (43%) consider whether what they’re spending their money on combats climate change and over a third (36%) think about whether a product is recyclable before buying.

What’s the impact?

Buying less is not only good for the planet; apparently it’s good for your wallet. As a result of one in four (24%) Brits buying less clothes they’ve saved over £4.3 billion this season[2].

Can I recycle this? – 64% went out of their way to recycle their products

What’s the change?

What you can and can’t recycle is often a minefield but a whopping (64%) of Brits go out of their way to recycle their products; almost half (43%) have taken it upon themselves to learn more about what and how to recycle responsibly this summer and over one third (38%) recycle everything they know they can but wish they knew more about what they can and can’t recycle. When it comes to spreading the word, almost half (46%) have tried to educate those closest to them on the importance of recycling and almost a quarter (72%) of Brits think more needs to be done to educate the public on the importance of recycling.

What’s the impact?

British households throw 22 million tonnes of waste into the bin every year. With a huge number of Brits going out of their way to recycle this summer, we’ve seen a reduction of 345,600 tonnes of household waste over the last three months[3].

Eco-friendly travel – 10% explored an alternative eco-friendly travel route

What’s the change?

Holidays are often the one thing we bury our head in the sand over when it comes to carbon footprint and flying but not so much this summer. An impressive one in ten (10%) explored an alternative eco-friendly route to their usual form of transport to travel over the summer. Once on holiday, almost three quarters (71%) of Brits took eco-action in some way including (45%) taking their own reusable cups and cutlery and (23%) not buying bottled water.  

What’s the impact?

Even with just one in ten using an alternative mode of transport, the impact is huge. In this summer alone, the UK will have reduced its net emissions of carbon dioxide by 9.1 million tonnes[4].

So why is it this summer that the UK taken action?

Warmer temperatures over the summer months are always welcomed but this summer was a different and worrying story with extreme temperatures causing concern among Brits.  When asked if the heat wave has made them more concerned about climate change, three in five Brits (61%) answered yes and of those, (37%) researched what they could do to help or even actively changed their behaviour as a result of these soaring conditions.   

As well as the weather changes having an impact on Brits eco-choices this summer, the original eco-warrior – David Attenborough – is still having an effect with almost one in four (24%) stating he was front of mind this season, closely followed by news coverage (22%), melting of ice caps (18%) and brands making drastic changes to policy (15%).

Michaela Strachan, conservationist and Old Mout cider ambassador commented: “This year, in the UK at least, there has been a wave of change and that’s really exciting. This survey by Old Mout is a strong indication we’re heading in the right direction, but of course there is always more we can do.

“Documentaries like Our Planet, War on Plastic and so many more have educated us all and made us wake up to the fact that we are in an environmental crisis. As a species we are brilliant at coming up with solutions when in crisis mode. We can change things if we work together globally. Continuing to do as much as you possibly can to help the planet, sharing ideas with friends and family and supporting companies and brands that are doing their best to make positive changes is all I ask. It’s something I do, which is why I’m delighted to be working so closely with Old Mout cider and the WWF.”


[1] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/339/339.pdf

[2]  https://metro.co.uk/2018/02/18/stop-buying-many-clothes-every-year-7316089/

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/23/uks-plastic-waste-may-be-dumped-overseas-instead-of-recycled

[4] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/790626/2018-provisional-emissions-statistics-report.pdf 

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