> 40,653 abandoned shopping trolleys collected in Essex in 2017 alone.
> Essex came top of a trolley loss leader board complied by Wanzl, the leading global trolley manufacturer.
> 520,000 abandoned shopping trolleys, in total, returned to UK supermarkets in 2017 (1,400 per day).
> Industry estimates actual abandoned shopping trolley numbers are closer to 1 million per year.
> Cost to British business is £35m per year (more than £95,000 every day).
> 40% of UK shoppers do not think there is a problem with trolley theft.
Essex has come out on top in a leader board tallying the amount of abandoned shopping trolleys collected across the UK in 2017. The research, complied by Wanzl - the leading global trolley and retail equipment manufacturer - revealed that 40,653 trolleys were taken and abandoned in the county last year. The research also revealed that the issue is a nationwide concern with more than half a million trolleys stolen from UK retailers in the same period, costing British business a staggering £35m annually.
Although these figures are already shockingly high, unofficial industry estimates suggest that the scale of the problem could be even higher with closer to a million trolleys being taken and abandoned in towns, cites and waterways across the UK each year.
As part of a major new campaign to support UK retailers and local community groups in reducing the issue of abandoned trolleys, Wanzl has launched a new initiative through their Trolleywise service. The campaign is calling on members of the public and environmental groups to help report abandoned trolleys by downloading the new free-to-use Trolleywise app. People simply take a photo of the trolley using the app which then alerts the nearest Trolleywise collection team. The trolley is then rescued and returned to any retailer that has the service in place. When a trolley is reported via the app, the user will get an immediate message confirming if the trolley can be collected and then a second message when the trolley has been returned to the local store.
New research conducted by Wanzl has shown that despite these shocking figures, there is a real lack of awareness amongst British shoppers about the scale of the problem, with 40% stating they did not see stolen or abandoned trolleys as a problem and a further 46% only saw it as a 'bit of a problem'.
Speaking about the issue, Simon King, Head of Retail Systems and Trolleywise at Wanzl, said: "Our retail customers take the issue of trolley abandonment and its impact on the environment very seriously, with the UK having the highest level of trolley loss in the world, and we continue to work closely with them to find a way to reduce the numbers.
"The UK has the highest level of trolley loss in the world, however, our research shows a real misconception about the scale of the issue amongst 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 and help us to tackle the issue.
"A well-manufactured and maintained trolley can have a lifespan of fifteen years with many being decommissioned only because they have been abandoned or misused. By working together we can tackle the blight of abandoned trolleys in green spaces, waterways, and public areas as well as reducing the impact on the environment of manufacturing new trolleys."
To get involved with the campaign, download the FREE Trolleywise app or visit: www.trolleywiseapp.co.uk.