Life in Lancashire wave 23

New Search

Purpose The objectives of this consultation are in three sections

1. Waste and recycling - carrier bags, looking at residents usage of plastic carrier bags, and measuring their perceptions of how to reduce the amount sent to landfill.

2. Satisfaction with services, to revisit the performance indicators for the environment directorate focussing on household waste recycling centres, public transport information, and the local bus service.

3. Voluntary community and faith sector services, to find out what voluntary, community and faith sector services people use and why they use them; and to understand how and why people volunteer.
Subject Community and voluntary sector
Public transport
The environment
Waste and recycling facilities
Commissioned by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - postal
Consultation with Life in Lancashire panel
Date 15/10/2008 - 28/11/2008
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit


Number in sample 3229
Number of responses 2587
Response rate 80%
Key findings 1. Waste and recycling - carrier bags. Most people go to the supermarket every week with one in ten going every other week, on an average visit to the supermarket more than four times as many people always use their own bags as never use their own bags - particularly among the over 60s; and most people use between one and three bags on a single visit to the supermarket , though a third of people don't use any. Reuse of plastic carrier bags is high though it is slightly lower among the over 60s the majority reusing all of their plastic bags, particularly among women. The most common secondary use for plastic carrier bags was to put rubbish in or use as a bin liner.

2. Satisfaction with services. Overall satisfaction with the local tip or household waste recycling centre is high, most people being very satisfied. The proportion of respondents who are very satisfied shows improvement on the 2006 survey. Overall satisfaction with the provision of public transport information showed an improvement in satisfaction from 55% in 2006 to 59%. Respondents were satisfied with the local bus service overall, although there is no change from 2006. The respondents who show greater levels of satisfaction with the bus service overall are over 60 or in the lower socio-economic group.

3. The voluntary, community and faith sector services. The most commonly used facilities are religious activities, children's education or schools and sports or exercise facilities. The primary reasons people gave for using the service were that it was local or provided exactly what they needed. The experience of being a volunteer was rated highly. Work commitments and doing other things with their spare time were the main barriers to volunteering. By asking someone directly to get involved or providing more information people thought they would be more likely to volunteer.

Outcomes Environment

The county council recognises that plastic carrier bags are highly symbolic of the waste we all produce every day. And, we as a council have a role in trying to help people reduce the amount of waste thrown away.

We have committed to becoming a plastic carrier bag free organisation, because we believe that it is our role to lead by example. We looked at all the county council's services to see how they used plastic bags. Although most services were already using alternatives to plastic carrier bags, the library service in particular were using large quantities of plastic bags. We worked with them to identify a supplier and launched the 'Library bag for life' at Burnley library in November 2008.

The county council also ran a communications campaign recently to encourage people to use the bags they already had, the message was 'remember to take a bag shopping'. We also promoted the fact that lots of retailers had already provided alternatives to plastic bags and encouraged people to take advantage of these.

Following on from this work, we were invited to share our experiences with Salford City council and help them develop a plan to reduce the impact of plastic carrier bags in their local area.

Voluntary, Community and Faith sector

The county council members of staff responsible for supporting the development of the VCFS across Lancashire will be working with representatives from many VCFS organisations using the research findings. They will be looking at ways to make it easier to access and use VCFS services, and how to make people aware of the volunteering opportunities in Lancashire. They'll be doing this through improving the information we provide to members of the public, looking at new ways of communicating, and seeing how we can offer different ways of taking part to make it easier to participate in voluntary activities.

Project document(s)



Marked up questionnaire(s)

Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Melissa Sherliker
01772 535019