MAPSTATS

Use of plastic bags in the EU

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Around three-quarters of Europeans say they have cut down on their use of single use plastic carrier bags

When asked about their personal use of single use plastic carrier bags, more than a third (38%) say they have cut down on their use in the last 12 months, while a similar proportion (42%) say that they cut down their use before the last 12 months24. Respondents were able to give both answers (i.e. to indicate that they cut down in the last 12 months and also before the last 12 months); overall, 72% of respondents say that they have cut down on their use of single use plastic carrier bags at some point. A further 3% of respondents spontaneously say that they have never used them, while 23% have not cut down on their use.


Number of “NO” answers to the question: Have cut down on your use of single use plastic carrier bags? (%)

Respondents are most likely to say that they have cut down on their use of single use plastic carrier bags at some point in the UK (92%), the Netherlands (91%) and Ireland (87%). The UK also displays the highest proportion that have cut down in the last 12 months (56%), followed by Sweden (51%) and the Netherlands (50%).

Less than half of the respondents have cut down on their use of single use plastic carrier bags at some point in Cyprus (41%), Greece (41%) and Romania (42%). The lowest proportions that have cut down in the last 12 months can be observed in Bulgaria (21%) and Greece (22%).

The socio-demographic data show differences for certain socio-demographic groups, based on the proportions that have cut down on their use of single use plastic carrier bags, either in the last 12 months or longer ago:

§ Women are more likely than men to say that they have cut down on their use of single use plastic carrier bags (75% vs. 70%).

§ By age group, 40-54 year olds are most likely to have cut down (76%), while 15-24 year olds are least likely to have done so (66%).

§ The longer a respondent remained in education, the more likely they are to say that they have cut down on their use of single use plastic bags: 81% with the highest levels do so, compared with 64% with the lowest education levels.

§ In terms of socio-professional category, managers are much more likely than those in other groups to say they have cut down on their use of single use plastic carrier bags (84% vs. 66%-76%).

§ People who have difficulties paying their bills are less likely to have cut down their use (61% of those who have difficulties most of the time, compared with 77% of those who never/almost never have difficulties).

§ People who feel that protecting the environment is very important to them are more likely than those who do not feel it is important to say that they have cut down their use (79 vs. 39%).

source: Eurobarometer 468

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