Figures released today by global trolley and retail equipment manufacturer, Wanzl, show that 520,000 abandoned shopping trolleys were reported in the UK in 2017, with unofficial estimates suggesting the real number could be as high as one million, costing retailers up to £35m each year.
Although these figures are already shockingly high, unofficial industry estimates suggest that the scale of the problem could be almost double this, with closer to a million trolleys being taken and abandoned in towns, cities and rivers across the UK each year.
New research conducted by Wanzl has shown that, despite these figures there is a real lack of awareness among British shoppers about the scale of the problem. From those surveyed, 40% stated they did not see stolen or abandoned trolleys as a problem and a further 46% only saw it as a 'bit of a problem'. Wanzl is now calling on retailers to help raise awareness of the issue and inform their customers of the impact of how abandoning trolleys are affecting their local community. As well as polluting their environment, trolley theft drives up costs with retailers footing the bill for replacements.
At the heart of the campaign is a full technical update of the popular free Trolleywise app, allowing even more shoppers to flag problem trolleys in their local communities. A complete overhaul of the app means that users are now fully integrated with over 60 Trolleywise vans around the UK, ensuring an efficient and targeted response to all reports. Users of the app just take a photo of the trolley, while sophisticated geo-location technology pinpoints the location and alerts the local collection team.
In addition, the new app provides concerned environmentalists with even greater communication options, with push notifications to alert them when their report has been logged and also when the trolley has been collected and returned to store.
Speaking about the issue, Simon King, Head of Retail Systems and Trolleywise at Wanzl, added: "Our latest figures on trolley abandonment clearly shows that it is a huge issue for our retail customers. Unfortunately, our research also shows a real misconception about the scale of the issue among shoppers. We are hoping that, by launching our campaign, we can raise awareness of the problem and engage members of the public to work alongside major retailers to help us to tackle the issue."
To get involved with the campaign, download the Trolleywise app or visit: www.trolleywiseapp.co.uk.