More than six in 10 consumers want to see companies act more sustainably - with recyclable packaging, using less plastic and more renewable energy top of their wish list.
A study of 2,000 adults found 76 per cent felt sustainability and climate change were important to them.
Others would like to see businesses use more sustainable products (38 per cent), more recycling bins (37 per cent) and refillable items (36 per cent).
But it also emerged 56 per cent felt too many businesses were ‘greenwashing’ for marketing purposes rather than to make a real difference to the planet.
Many also felt the motives for becoming more sustainable were self-serving, with wanting to be seen as doing their bit (39 per cent), and as a market leader (34 per cent) ranking among the top reasons people believe they want to appear sustainable.
While a third felt wanting to save money in the long run was a factor compared to just 26 per cent who think it’s due to wanting to help the planet.
Mark Jankovich, CEO of Delphis Eco, which commissioned the study, said: “It’s encouraging to see just how important and valued most people are when it comes to our planet.
“The collective responsibility which many of us feel is fantastic to see and shows there’s a real appetite for sustainability.
“Changing perceptions around recycling and raising awareness is something we are looking to do – it’s never too late to learn.”
Businesses doing their bit too
The research also found 45 per cent of those polled felt businesses are not doing enough to improve their sustainability footprint.
Although smaller businesses (31 per cent) are considered more proactive than big business (22 per cent).
It also emerged vegetables, fruit and cleaning products (all 19 per cent) are the items shoppers are most likely to ensure they buy from a sustainable source.
Eggs (19 per cent), drinks bottles (17 per cent) and clothes (17 per cent) also featured high on the list.
But 55 per cent think every individual’s actions has an impact on the planet.
And while 49 per cent would like to do more for the planet, 63 per cent claimed they would be more sustainable if it were more affordable.
However, when it comes to making environmentally friendly choices, just 17 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, always recycle, while 35 per cent do it often.
Although one in 20 admitted they never make environmentally friendly choices.
A spokesperson for Delphis Eco added: “Consumers can only buy what is available to them, so it’s important we give them options.
“We want to make sure we are doing all we can, by ensuring we’re leading by example.
"We’re offering refills on a range of our products, which mean we’re using less plastic, which is ultimately a good thing for our planet.
"It may mean less margin for us, but ultimately it’s the right thing to do. How can we expect consumers help out if we aren’t doing our bit too?”
Top 15 ways people in the UK want businesses to be more eco-friendly
- Use recyclable packaging
- Use less plastic
- Use renewable energy
- Use products which are more sustainable
- Have more recycling bins in place
- Refillable products
- Recycle electronics
- Use reusable shopping bags
- Plant trees
- Provide more information about how products are sourced
- Use green cleaning products
- Stop investing in fossil fuels
- Choose to partner and work with other sustainable businesses
- Donate more to environmental charities
- Use cycle to work scheme