UK consumers believe companies mainly commit to the circular economy for profit, revealed in a new study by GetApp
LONDON, Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- GetApp UK launched its latest research study surveying over 1,000 respondents to better understand governments, businesses and consumers' participation in the circular economy.
GetApp's first report reveals that consumers believe money is the main incentive driving circular economy advocacy among businesses. 46% of respondents were of the opinion that companies take advantage of circular economy processes in order to make more money from producing sustainably, whilst 41% believe they do it to benefit economically from government initiatives. Meanwhile, 36% believe it is just a policy for greenwashing.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents opposed the statement that businesses are doing enough to cut down on waste. Whilst 84% of consumers would like more transparency regarding businesses' sustainability measures.
Furthermore, an overall majority of 89% maintained that the government could be doing more to monitor company compliance with circular economy practices.
GetApp's study also reveals how 39% of respondents had never heard of the concept of a circular economy before they were shown the definition. Demonstrating how there is still not enough awareness or education provided on the circular economy.
Consumers' engagement in the circular economy
GetApp's second study demonstrates how, much like businesses, consumers principally take part in the circular economy to save money. 50% stated they buy second-hand products to spend less, compared with just 12% that do it for sustainability purposes.
GetApp's study also reveals buyers' passive perspective toward shopping for second-hand products, as 28% admit to not doing it very often, whilst 15% never shop second-hand. Some of the main reasons given by people who didn't wish to shop second-hand were that they prefer new products (64%), followed by their apprehension towards the quality of second-hand products (53%) and concern regarding how long the item would last (48%).
Additionally, 29% of consumers don't sell second-hand items very often. Of those that do, three times more voted making money as the primary motivation behind selling second-hand items (54%), in comparison to those that do it for sustainability purposes (18%).
Overall, GetApp's study uncovers how the circular economy model is not taken seriously enough by businesses or the government. Which in turn generates mistrust among the public, and therefore reduces the likelihood of consumers themselves investing in it. Additionally, when consumers do participate in the circular economy, their primary motivations lie in making money, instead of doing it for environmental reasons.
David Jani, Content Analyst at GetApp UK, comments:
A large proportion of our sample (39%) had never heard of the circular economy before. Yet, it seemed clear from our findings, that practices such as anti-waste, renewable energy, and reuse of materials, which are common circular processes, were regarded well by consumers.
However, the public's commitment to performing these practices themselves is still somewhat limited. It is also clear that the main incentive for doing so is saving money or earning additional income.
This seems to reflect that whilst the circular economy is an everyday practice for many people, greater awareness and engagement are needed to drive sustainability in the UK.
GetApp is the recommendation engine small businesses need to make the right software choice. GetApp enables SMEs to achieve their mission by delivering the tailored, data-driven recommendations and insights needed to make informed software purchasing decisions. For more information, visit www.getapp.co.uk.
Data for the circular economy study was collected in July 2022, in which 1,027 UK consumers responded to GetApp's survey.
Carmina Solano Davis
Marketing Specialist (UK)