The closure of hospitality and leisure facilities during the pandemic shone a light on the availability and cleanliness of council-owned, public toilets across the UK.
With hygiene habits continuing to evolve, we want to understand people’s attitudes towards public loos – how many will avoid them at all costs? Will people only enter them with a friend? What will make people use them?
Through research conducted by OnePoll, we surveyed 2,000 UK adults to determine their attitudes towards public toilets in a post-Covid world. The results are interesting!
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Attitudes Towards Public Toilets Across the UK
We discovered that overall, more than one in three (34 per cent) aren’t happy with the facilities in their nearest town or city. In fact, three-quarters of Londoners buy a coffee just to use a store’s toilets – rather than hunt for a public WC! Alarmingly, 77 per cent of Londoners have struggled to even locate their nearest toilet when in need.
Meanwhile, those in Oxford are the happiest with the state of their city’s public toilets, with 71 per cent satisfied with the number of toilets available and 81 per cent are pleased with the accessibility of the facilities.
However, half of Mancunians claimed the cleanliness of the toilets in the northwest city are not up to scratch, with 69 per cent encountering an unflushed loo and 55 per cent a lack of toilet paper.
Why Do People Use Public Toilets?
Overall, more than three quarters (76 per cent) of all adults admitted they will only use a public toilet if it is completely unavoidable. When asked why they would use a toilet in a hospitality setting, like a café or fast-food restaurant, 70 per cent claimed it is because of superior cleanliness and 37 per cent will use these facilities as they have better handwashing stations.
It also emerged 58 per cent have not been able to use a public toilet because they didn’t have any change to hand, with just over 30p considered to be a fair amount to pay for the facility.