90% Indians concerned about non-recyclable product waste: Ipsos

April 22, is World Earth Day.  Ipsos conducted a global survey to map the perception of 28 global markets on changing environment. The survey shows that Indians are most concerned about air pollution (50%), global warming (43%) and over population (39%), among all environmental issues.

“Environmental issues are defined by local affliction, other than filial global concerns. The more glaring the problem faced by the locals, the more it gets salient and amplified in their mindsets. Collateral impact of air pollution, climate change and overpopulation has been immense, despite some corrective measures in terms of adoption of green fuels, planting of trees and birth control measures,” says Parijat Chakraborty, country service line leader Public Affairs, Corporate Reputation and Customer Experience, Ipsos India.

Some of the other issues emerging in the survey besetting Indians were: Water Pollution (28%), Deforestation (25%), Poor quality of drinking water (21%), Dealing with waste (20%), Natural resource depletion (17%), Emissions (10%), Future food sources & supplies (9%), Wildlife conservation (7%), Flooding (5%), Overpackaging of consumer goods (5%) and Soil erosion (5%).

“Keeping in view this year’s theme of World Earth Day – Protect our Species – all these environment issues compound the problem, affecting humans, flora and fauna,” added Chakraborty.

Use of Disposable Non-Recyclable Products

90% of the urban Indians polled said that they are deeply concerned with the usage of disposable non-recyclable products.

Interestingly, India is 5th in the pecking order in voicing its concern, among 28 markets.

The survey delved further to understand the policy actions that would discourage usage of non-recyclable plastic and packaging - 51% Indians recommended government investment for improving recycling; 45% Indians want higher taxes on supermarkets and shops using a lot of non-recyclable packaging; 41% Indians voted for strict action of  Fine-for-households-that-do not-recycle-enough policy; 39% Indians felt there should be a Public Information Campaign for building awareness on the consequences of using plastic products; 38% Indians felt that taxing non-recyclable containers is the way forward, will discourage usage and 35% Indians feel that govt ‘naming and shaming bad businesses’ could scrape off good image and lead to less usage.

Non-Recyclable Product Waste – what actions are Indians taking at a personal level to offset its impact?

At a personal level, Indians are taking some concrete steps to reduce problems caused by plastic and packaging that cannot be recycled.

54% Indians say they would be buying products made from recycled materials; 53% Indians say they are re-using disposable items like plastic bags and plastic bottles; 48% Indians plan to stop buying goods that have non-recyclable packaging (styrofoam, for instance); 27%  Indians plan to stop going to supermarkets and shops that use a lot of non-recyclable packaging; 24% Indians are willing to pay extra for goods without non-recyclable packaging and 23% Indians are willing to pay higher taxes for using non- recyclable plastic products.

“Urban Indians understand the ramifications of non-recyclable plastic products on the environment and are willing to take personal actions to mitigate the risk, though these maybe baby steps, in addressing the gargantuan issue,” says Chakraborty.   

So, who should be leading the efforts to reduce non-recyclable waste?

44% Indians feel that onus rests collectively with all stakeholders: packaged goods producers, government, consumers and sellers; though 19% Indians feel government should be leading the efforts, while 12% feel that it should be the consumers of packaged goods who should be driving it, 10% feel the packaged goods producers and 9% say sellers of packaged goods.


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