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More people than ever are ditching single use plastics thanks to the “Attenborough Effect”

image credit kwangmoo/BBC

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

If you have been a regular viewer of documentaries, then you have probably heard of the natural historian, David Attenborough. The wonderful narrator with his powerful narrative voice returned on television this April with his Netflix series Our Planet. Plus, he also hosted the acclaimed Blue Planet II that was released back in 2017. But recently, there is something that might be happening due to Attenborough and his wonderful initiative to make people aware of the world. Being dubbed as the Attenborough effect, it is being reported that in the last year, there has been a change in people’s mentality regarding plastic.

According to new research by GlobalWebIndex, it has been claimed that after watching the final episode of the widely-acclaimed Blue Planet II, about 88% of the population who watched it are slowly deciding to go for sustainable materials for packaging. They have become concerned regarding the future of this world and are willing to participate actively to take steps that benefit the planet.


According to a general consensus, the move towards sustainable packaging in the UK might be due to their personal wish to not be wasteful anymore. But more importantly, about 3 in ten customers are feeling like they have enough information regarding packaging and what are the kinds which can be properly recycled. The awareness of Attenborough has worked marvelously and people are enlightened because of that.

However, there was a notable difference in the perception being held by men and women, which was about 29 percent and 44 percent respectively. The study showed that as consumers become older, the gap between sustainability and affordability increases. Hence, for consumers who are above the age of 55 find affordability of daily purchases more important than consumers who are between the ages of 16-24. There was about a 20%-point difference between age groups related to affordable items. Younger consumers are more forward with their desire for sustainable products.

The study also shows that Gen Z is about 26% more likely to get swayed by the opinions of other people than an internet user. It is clear that due to social media, the plastic revolution has sparked and is spreading like wildfire.

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The trends manager working at GlobalWebIndex, Chase Buckle claims that it might be shocking that younger consumers are becoming more aware and more willing to go for sustainable products than the older generations. However, there is a reason behind it. The younger generation is growing up in a time where there is a sustainability crisis and the entire world is feeling its effects. Plus, environmentalist documentaries are released and becoming more widely distributed due to the presence of different platforms not confined to a TV.

The study also noted that most of the consumers are more impacted by media and by their peer group, though about 1 in four users of the internet said brand messaging has also had a major impact.

Internet is showing its most effective use by spreading the voice of Attenborough across the globe as the messiah of change. We just have to listen to it and act, so that finally, plastic could be eliminated from our planet.


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