A poll conducted by BMG has revealed that nearly three quarters (72%) of the British public are in favour of all retailers selling non-perishable food items beyond their “best before” date.

Whilst support was widespread across all ages, those aged 55 and older were more likely to be in favour of the proposal than younger generations, with 55 to 64-year olds the most likely (80%) to support the proposal. Higher levels of support may indicate a more prevalent ‘waste not, want not’ attitude amongst older generations.

Interestingly, slightly fewer respondents (66%) said that they would be likely to buy non-perishable food past its “best before” date themselves. In fact, almost twice as many people (26%) said that they would be unlikely to purchase non-perishable food past its “best-before” date than said that they were against the idea (14%).

Although support of the idea may be substantial, with two thirds of respondents saying that they would buy food beyond its “best before” date, there are some question marks over whether the initiative will be successful in practice.


Water fountains

57% of the British public said that they would use water fountains and bottle-refill stations if they were introduced in their local area, as has been proposed for London by Mayor Sadiq Kahn, in an effort to reduce single-use plastic waste.

Younger age groups were most likely to say that they would use the water fountains, with almost three quarters of 25 to 34-year olds saying they would be likely to use them. The only age group who say that they are on balance unlikely to do so are those aged 75 and over, with 60% unlikely and 34% saying they are likely.

Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.



0121 333 6006

Thomas Speed – BMG Summer Placement Student – BMG Research

Dr. Michael Turner – Research Director & Head of Polling – BMG Research


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