72% of Italians consider climate change to be a more serious long-term problem than the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only that: over 80% believe that the government should consider the environmental problem as primary for the economic recovery of the country. These are some of the most interesting results that emerged from the latest Ipsos research on sustainability and the environment in the post lockdown. The study wanted to investigate whether fears about the health and economic consequences of the outbreak of the pandemic have diminished the sensitivity and attention of Italians to environmental issues.
From what emerges from the survey, climate change remains a central problem for Italians, which requires priority intervention, also at the level of the government agenda, to avoid possible future disasters. In fact, 80% of respondents fear the occurrence of an environmental disaster if effective measures are not implemented and if there is not a change in habits in the population. The main defendant remains, in fact, human activity, considered by 8 out of 10 Italians as the main responsible for the current situation.
Even in the emergency phase, environmental sustainability remained an important element in the purchasing choices of almost all consumers (93%). Furthermore, 85% say they want to do their part, favoring better products for health and the environment. An attitude of growing attention in consumer choices which, according to 56% of respondents, is expected to further increase in the near future.
The health crisis has strongly focused on the need to have ‘safe’ products, preserving objects and food from contamination, through the use of masks, gloves and packaging that ensure maximum peace of mind. “This very often has meant widespread use of disposable plastic products. According to recent estimates, more than 500 thousand tons of gloves and masks to be disposed of following the emergency are already “commented Andrea Alemanno, Senior Client Officer of Ipsos. “This is why we wanted to investigate whether the population is still wary of plastic packaging or whether this sensitivity has fallen into the background due to the force majeure situation.”
The survey, however, confirmed that 95% of Italians continue to consider plastic a serious problem, and even general concern grows with 53% defining the situation already very serious today (+ 3% vs. 2018 survey). The Covid emergency does not therefore seem to have overshadowed the concern about the accumulation of plastic waste. In fact, the number of people who claim to actively engage in limiting plastic consumption continues to grow (70%, Vs 61% 2018) and those who do not know how to do it are decreasing, indicating a greater general awareness of reuse practices and recycling, as well as alternative solutions.
“A final interesting note comes from the role of technology, now increasingly considered as a possible ally against climate change” added Enrica Tiozzo, Senior Client Officer of Ipsos. “People are growing confident that they can do something, not only from a preventive but also a decisive point of view. Maybe just through scientific progress. For example, 76% of Italians today are convinced that in the future it will be possible to identify new techniques that will allow accelerating the degradation of plastic. A hope that more and more people accompany with a concrete commitment in their daily lives “.