Environment at the top of the list of concerns of Italians

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Results of the Lorien Consulting survey on environmental awareness and behaviours concerning waste.

After unemployment, immigration, and terrorism, the environment is the most worrying issue for the Italian people. According to the survey by Lorien Consulting on environmental awareness and behaviours concerning waste, 35% of the sample consider that the most suitable measures to fight environmental damage are structural investments – such as adoption of renewable sources and safety measures for buildings and territory – rather than one-time interventions.

Most citizens consider themselves to have the main responsibility in the safeguard of the environment (57%), more than any other institution or association, and they seem increasingly ready to engage to bring about change. The inefficient management of waste is perceived as one of the main threats to the environment (28%), after pollution and climate change (30%), industrial pollution of water, soil and air (34%), and atmospheric pollution (44%). Moreover, 50% declare to be informed on the topics of waste sorting and recycling, which according to the survey are practised by 93% of Italian citizens (59% of the sample declared that they practise waste sorting because they consider it important, not out of constriction or convenience). The impression that waste sorting is the best possible system is still strong, although not as much as in previous surveys.

The research also shows a strong inclination of Italians towards circular economy, meaning by that a system where there is no waste and new products are made with recycled materials. 92% of the sample believe circular economy would bring economic benefits to the country.

“These are great news – comments Legambiente president Rossella Muroni – and they mirror a trend that is in full growth: our country is increasingly engaged in the sector of circular economy with constant progress. For every billion Euro of our GDP we produce 42 tons of waste, against for example the 65 tons produced by Germany. We are developing a good recovery and reusing capacity in the manufacturing sector, one of our strongest fields. However, the situation is quite different from region to region: some areas are leaders at the EU level, while other areas keep investing in landfills and incinerators”.

Kyoto Club vice-president Francesco Ferrante adds: “Along with environmental awareness we see an increase in the awareness that circular economy is the most convenient choice for our entrepreneurial system. We are the second manufacturing country in Europe but we are poor in raw materials: it is evident that an integrated waste management, green chemistry, and green public procurement must support our industrial policies, so that we can face the challenges of an increasingly globalized economy”.

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