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A global study on single-use plastics and recycling found three in four consumers want to buy products wrapped in as little packaging as possible.

The 28-country Ipsos survey, conducted during July and August, interviewed 9 515 adults, aged 18 to 74, in countries including South Africa,Turkey, Australia, Brazil, Canada and China. 

According to the study, of the 28 nations the British were the most aware of the limits of recycling, with a quarter believing that all plastics can be recycled, compared to a global average of 55%.

Of the 500 South Africans interviewed, 59% believed that all plastics could be recycled. According to National Geographic, there are two types of plastics: thermoset and thermoplastics.

Thermoplastics are plastics that can be re-melted and re-moulded into new products; this cannot be done with thermoset plastics.

The Ipsos study found that, globally, 71% of people believe single-use plastic products should be banned as soon as possible.

A total of 75% of South Africans agreed with such a ban.

Eighty-four percent of South Africans also said they felt better about brands that made changes to achieve better environmental outcomes.

“Across all the 28 countries in the survey, 63% say they would be willing to change where they shop if it meant they would use less packaging, and this is higher in South Africa, with two-thirds being willing to change where they shop (67%). 

“But this figure falls to under 60% in many of the world’s wealthiest markets, and in the US the proportion ready to change their regular shopping routine stands at 49%,” the study found.

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