There are plenty of films that have documented the harmful effects of single-use plastics, but one documentary in particular has resulted in lasting change. A new study found that Blue Planet II, narrated by David Attenborough, has inspired people in the U.K. and the U.S. to use 53 percent fewer single-use plastics over the last year.
Inspired by what is being dubbed the Attenborough Effect, people are investing in reusable bags for groceries and other packaging like never before. The study, which interviewed more than 3,800 people in the U.K. and U.S., discovered that the majority of participants have cut down on single-use plastics — definitely a move in the right direction.
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According to TreeHugger, the individuals who reduced their dependency on these inefficient plastics were inspired by a desire to improve the environment for future generations and a need to curb individual waste. While many of the people in the study have cut down on plastic use, there was an important discrepancy in age groups.
Older individuals, between 55 and 64 years of age, put more value in things that are affordable. Younger people, between 16 and 24, put greater stock in sustainability. For the researchers, this trend was not surprising, given that younger generations have been raised in a more eco-friendly culture.
“What is important to note is that the younger generations grew up during the height of the sustainability crisis with high-profile, environmentalist documentaries widely available on the content platforms they prefer over conventional TV,” Chase Buckle, who led the study for the Global Web Index, shared.
Considering that the entire world is dealing with single-use plastic waste, it is great that younger people have an appreciation for sustainable practices. If trends like this continue, there may come a day when single-use plastics are a thing of the past, especially as these younger individuals grow up and become active in politics.
Exactly how much this will impact the world of single-use plastics is yet to be seen, but it is definitely encouraging knowing that more and more people are actively making choices that benefit the environment over their own wallets.
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