The UK’s Mounting Plastic Waste Problem is Solvable with SME Innovation

The UK's Mounting Plastic Waste Problem is Solvable with SME Innovation

The following will probably come as a shock for our friends in the UK. A new unique social study has found that the UK is way behind the curve for plastic waste. However, there is also some positive news. The study also showed that Brits are now prioritising sustainable products and are turning their backs on major manufacturers who are not following sustainable practices.

Worldwide, countries are looking into ways to ensure products, predominantly ones using technology, are sold with consumers’ ability to repair them to prolong their lives. It’s an obvious solution given the mindboggling tonnage relegated to landfill sites. However, this doesn’t align with the views of some manufacturers who’d prefer their customers purchase new complete units rather than just a low-cost replacement part. However, and fortunately for the planet’s health, not every company subscribes to this view, and one of them is Lupe Technology.

In news that will surprise some, a new study by Lupe has revealed that the UK is the second-worst place for producing plastic waste, with the US being the only other place in the world using more plastic annually. Now, environmental campaigners are calling on the nation to rally together and contribute to the Big Plastic Count Survey, which will reveal the true extent to which the UK creates plastic waste by having households track how much plastic waste they produce.

Everyone who participates will receive a pack explaining how to count the plastics they use, broken down into 19 categories. They’ll tally up to reveal the types of plastic waste before putting it in the bin or the recycling. The results will provide evidence to the government, who are being called on by environmental organisations Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic to set targets for reducing plastic waste by 50% by 2025 to combat the issue at hand.

In a new unique social study, landmark research from the engineers of Britain’s most recyclable vacuum cleaner, Lupe Technology, shows that Brits prioritise purchasing sustainable products to help combat their plastic consumption and reduce their carbon footprint. Because of this, Brits are turning their backs on many mainstream manufacturers to support sustainable products, finding that almost 26 million of us agree that domestic appliance brands do not do enough to educate the public on how sustainable their products are.

Lupe Technology, an innovative British tech start-up helping its customers combat appliance waste, discovered in 2021 that white goods make up almost half of all electrical goods thrown away. The data showed that the average Brit goes through 15 vacuum cleaners (58,635,000 units) in their lifetime. Their new analysis has found that 38% of Brits say they don’t trust big brands to provide truly sustainable products. A further 31% (14,007,000) say they are no longer looking to purchase from mainstream brands whose products are unethical and or wasteful.

Key Stats*

  • 38% (17,053,000) agree that they will purchase from less established brands in order to use domestic appliances that are friendlier to the environment
  • 38% (17,511,000) agree they don’t trust big brands to give them truly sustainable products
  • 31% (14,007,000) agree that they are no longer looking to purchase from mainstream brands whose products are unethical and/ or wasteful
  • 33% (14,347,000) agree that they are now buying sustainable domestic appliances as a priority to combat plastic waste and their general carbon footprint
  • 60% (25,977,000) agree that domestic appliance brands do not do enough to educate the public on how sustainable their products are
  • 40% (18,779,000) agree they will pay more to purchase truly sustainable products in their house
  • 18% (7,644,000) agree that the majority of domestic appliances in their home are from smaller, home-grown businesses, more so now than they were ten years ago

*(nationally representative research carried out across a body of 2096 respondents, in full compliance with the British Polling Council Guidelines)

The parts in a LUPE vacuum cleaner can be removed and replaced reducing plastic waste

Why SME innovation may be the key to a greener existence
In 2019, plastics production contributed a staggering 850 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Reports showed that almost half of the electrical products thrown away were made up of white goods. Lupe Technology commissioned some national research in 2021 to ascertain just how much damage domestic appliances were contributing to the built-to-break cycle. Their research found that 1 in 10 Brits has been through at least 15 vacuum cleaners in their lifetime, which, when added up, resulted in a staggering 58.6 million units!

What differentiates Lupe’s upright vacuum cleaner model from others is it is made using recyclable plastic. It is able to outlive the shelf-lives of many typical household appliances while still delivering the high-performance the brand is known for.

Many of the vacuum cleaners available today use thinner plastics that are welded together, forgoing the use of bolts to save on cost. The problem with this is it makes them more liable to break and repair, which results in a trip to the waste centre and the purchase of another product made with single use plastic.

Lupe's Pure Cordless Vacuum in the home

Lupe’s Pure Cordless Vacuum is made using bolts and durable plastic, virtually eliminating these worries. The company makes products that are designed to last as long as possible, and in the unlikely event that something breaks on the cleaner, it has been designed with removable parts that are both recyclable and replaceable. Another huge positive with Lupe technology is that it is the only vacuum cleaner brand committed to offsetting the carbon footprint for every model it sells and aims to become fully carbon negative in 2023.

Pablo Montero, Co-Founder of Lupe Technology, comments on the culture of domestic appliances that are built to break, “The public conscience of climate change, pollution and excess household wastage has undoubtedly increased in recent years and has motivated consumers worldwide to seek more sustainable and ethical products. Yet despite all our good intentions, we are hamstrung by a trend of built-to-break gadgets and household appliances, which is contributing to an appalling amount of plastic pollution and electrical wastage in Britain.

“The Pure Cordless is the domestic appliance designed not just to shake up the vacuum market but the entire home technology arena. We have strived to make a product as reliable and long-lasting as possible and hope consumers understand our mission to make technology stand the test of time.”

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The UK's Mounting Plastic Waste Problem is Solvable with SME Innovation 2

Paul Godbold

Founder, Editor-in-Chief

Paul is the owner and editor-in-chief of Luxurious Magazine. He previously worked as a fashion model, was in the British Army and created companies in the technology, venture capital and financial services sectors. In addition to writing, he also proofs, edits, designs, lays out and publishes all the articles in the online magazine. Paul is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.

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