Attitudes towards refill and reuse in the UK

our latest behavioural insights about reuse in the UK

The results are in! 

In conjunction with Obsurvant, we undertook a consumer survey in March 2024 in the UK to keep track of awareness and attitudes towards plastic pollution and to better understand people’s reuse habits.

The following report summarises the insights gathered through this survey, comparing them to our previous editions. We’re on a mission to lead the transition from single-use to reuse and we hope this report gives valuable insights to confirm people’s appetite for change and helps our wider audience take a step and start their refill and reuse journeys! 


We worked with market research team Obsurvant to carry out a survey targeting adult respondents in the UK, nationally representative of age, gender, and region. Obsurvant is an accredited MRS company partner and a certified member of the British Polling Council. 

Respondents were asked about their awareness and attitudes towards plastic pollution, as well as their reusing and refilling habits.  

This survey was taken in March 2024 by 2,037 respondents on both mobile and desktop devices and all were based in the UK. 


At City to Sea, we take great pride in representing people’s interest in the transition from single-use to reuse. That’s why it’s important for us to pay close attention to people’s usage and attitudes towards plastic, identifying the potential opportunities and barriers to shift to reuse.

Every year we conduct a consumer survey with a specific topic in mind. In this year’s edition, we particularly focused on grocery shopping, underpinning the current usage of reusable packaging and the intention to switch to reusable or refillable initiatives in the future. 

The results were clear: people are ready for change!

There’s a widespread concern over plastic pollution in the UK.

83% are somewhat or definitely concerned about the amount of plastic that comes in their weekly shop. A large majority, 83%, even mention they are experienced feelings of anxiety, frustration or hopelessness, up from 75% in 2021.

People think governments and brands should do more.

82% agree brands should do more to offer reuse and refill and reduce packaging. 76% agree it should be a government priority to tackle plastic pollution.

People are already taking action to reduce the amount of plastic that comes in their weekly shop.

80% of UK consumers are taking action on plastic use. Consumers are primarily motivated by a desire to reduce their use of single-use plastic (64%). Half of them are looking for recycled or plastic-free packaging when they go grocery shopping, and 1/3 already buy in refill packs or bulk-buy in bigger quantities.

Carrying and using reusables is becoming a habit in the UK.

Particularly for reusable shopping bags (81%), followed by reusable water bottle (65%), reusable coffee cups (41%). They are also being used more frequently.

Finding available refill and reuse options where people shop remains the biggest blocker to adoption, before cost and convenience.

If available where they shop, many brits said they would be willing to buy refillable or reusable packaging. Per category, this goes up to 2/3 of the respondents for dried goods and homecare products.


Want to find out more or to work together on a bespoke survey? We’d love to hear from you.

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