64% of Brits more likely to make a purchase if a business provides free water

water, Brits, survey
17/04/2018 - 08:00
A YouGov survey has found that 64% of Brits would be more likely to make a purchase in a business when visiting to refill their reusable water bottle.

The survey of more than 2,000 people, commissioned by environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, also highlighted that 64% of consumers would be more likely to return for future purchases if they could refill their water bottle. While 62% said it would make them choose a business that offered free refills over a competitor. Furthermore, 73% would view a business more favourably if it gave free tap or filtered water on request.

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton, said: “Too many people still find it challenging to fill up on the go, while many more are still embarrassed to ask for tap, worried about the safety of water fountains, or just unwilling to go the extra mile and carry around a reusable bottle. We’ve simply got to get to a situation where topping up in glass or refillable bottle is the norm.”

The research, which is being launched in Parliament today, is part of the wider #SwapForGood campaign, which aims to help eradicate the use of single-use plastic bottles by encouraging people to make small changes to their lifestyle that can have a big impact on the environment.

It makes clear that ending our reliance on single-use plastic bottles will take a significant cultural shift – and it won’t be as simple as making more water fountains available, as 59% of consumers worry about their cleanliness, rising to 64% of women.

Currently only 9% use public fountains, a figure almost unchanged from when this survey was carried out a year ago (when it was 7%).  

Three quarters (73%), however, would be encouraged to use a reusable bottle if they could help themselves to drinking water in shops or cafés and not need to ask staff for it, while 63% think food and drink businesses should be required to provide free tap or filtered water to anyone who asks for it.

The survey also found that: 78% think there should be greater availability of free tap water across the UK, 27% of reusable bottle owners purchase bottled water because they are unsure whether there will be somewhere to fill up, and women are more likely than men to own and regularly use a reusable water bottle, with 40% doing so compared to 31% of men.

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