Despite news of hospitality groups across the UK removing plastic straws and other single-use plastics from their operation, new research has revealed that SME hospitality businesses are struggling to reduce their footprint.
The YouGov survey, commissioned by Keep Britain Tidy and Brita UK, reveals that just 29% of SME hospitality and leisure businesses have replaced single-use plastics their consumers use with more environmentally friendly alternatives.
Furthermore, just 6% of SME hospitality businesses have audited how they use single-use plastics, while only 10% have selected new suppliers based on their environmental credentials.
The study also found that only half (52%) of senior decision makers in SME hospitality businesses say their business is doing all it can to reduce its single-use plastic waste.
Just 34% believe that their business is responsible for encouraging its customers to reduce consumption of single-use plastics, while a quarter (26%) think their business has a duty to be a leader in their sector on this issue.
This is despite 73% of senior decision makers acknowledging that staff want to reduce their single-use plastic footprint, and 58% thinking their customers want this.
“This research makes for shocking reading, but it is not simply about knocking businesses for inaction – it is about understanding the barriers they face and looking to work with them to offer the expertise, support and guidance that will help them transform for good,” comments Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy.