Essex has come out on top in a leaderboard tallying the amount of abandoned shopping trolleys collected across the UK in 2017.

The research, compiled 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.

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, cities and rivers across the UK.

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 its Trolleywise service.

The campaign is calling on members of the public 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 another message when the trolley has been returned to the local store.

Speaking about the issue, Simon King, head of retail systems and Trolleywise at Wanzl, said: “Our retail customers take the issue of trolley abandonment in local communities very seriously 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: