25 april 2018

Global public opinion firmly behind plastic straw ban, survey finds

  • 9 in 10 would support a ban on plastic straws in bars and restaurants to help protect environment
  • 4 in 5 say that plastic straws are very harmful to the environment
  • Over 1 in 2 say plastic waste is the biggest threat to the world’s oceans


People across the world see plastic straws as very harmful to the environment and would overwhelmingly back a ban on their use in bars and restaurants, according to new research.

The survey – conducted by Streetbees, the global intelligence platform – found that 9 in 10 (91%) people would support a full or partial ban on plastic straws in bars and restaurants to help protect the environment. In addition, 4 in 5 (82%) of those surveyed said that plastic straws are ‘very harmful’ to the environment, and 1 in 2 (53%) said that plastic waste is the biggest threat to the world’s oceans.

The figures indicate comprehensive global popular support of measures like the UK government’s proposed ban of single-use plastic straws, which is expected to be introduced in 2018.

Oliver May, COO and co-founder of Streetbees, said: “It is extremely rare for people across the world to come down so firmly on one side of an issue. Plastic waste is a hot-button topic that people clearly feel strongly about and want to see action on.”

Over 1,700 people were surveyed in four countries through the Streetbees app, including the US, UK, India and South Africa.

Other findings in the survey include:

  • Over 9 in 10 (92%) said that more should be done to protect the world’s oceans
  • Plastic waste (53%) was seen as the biggest threat to the world’s oceans, over toxic waste/sewage (17%), global warming (12%), oil spills (8%) and over-fishing (5%)
  • Over 1 in 10 (12%) say they ‘never’ use a plastic straw; but 1 in 4 say they use one at least once a week or more
  • Only 1 in 10 (11%) say they don’t buy grocery products if their packaging isn’t recyclable



The figures in the article were taken in April 2018 from 1,702 people across the UK, US, India and South Africa. All of the data was collected by mobile and web surveys, and is accurate to within 3 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

To see a dashboard that displays the results, access the Streetbees platform at: https://insights.streetbees.com/client/plastics

Login: plastic@streetbees.com
Password: straws


About Streetbees

Streetbees is a London-based global intelligence platform that reveals how people behave, and why, by analysing real-life moments collected from its worldwide users on an always-on basis.

Over 1 million users – or ‘bees’ – across 150 countries worldwide use the chat-style Streetbees app to share moments from their daily lives via videos, photos and text, giving as much or as little information as they like. Through applying advanced natural language processing technology to the results, Streetbees uncovers not just what they do, but also why they do it, and what drives them – and predicts what they may do next.

This allows Streetbees’ customers – who include Unilever, PepsiCo, BBC World Service, Vodafone and L’Oreal – to receive rich insights into communities anywhere in the world at an unprecedented scale and affordable cost, helping them deeply understand new or unfamiliar markets. Using the Streetbees platform, world-leading brands are able to make more informed and accurate decisions about consumer behaviour, and predict future trends with confidence.

Streetbees is backed by some of the planet’s most renowned investors and entrepreneurs, including Atomico, BGF Ventures, LocalGlobe, and Octopus Ventures. Our investors have also backed TransferWise, Zoopla, FarFetch, Graze and Wonga - and founded Innocent drinks.




Norval Scott, Head of Communications, Streetbees
email: norval@streetbees.com
mobile: +44 7527 286 552