COVID-19 Causes Environmental Wake-Up Call for Ireland

A whopping 90% of Irish consumers say that since the Covid-19 outbreak, it is more important than ever to take care of our planet and the environment, a European-wide study by drink can recycling initiative, Every Can Counts, has found.

Almost all (92%) of the survey respondents in Ireland said it is an urgent task to tackle recycling, while 90% said that considering recycling and its importance for the planet is an obligation of all citizens and consumers, not just world leaders. Despite this however, the survey also discovered that in these uncertain economic times, 55% of Irish consumers say the economy is currently a priority over the environment.

In the wake of Sir David Attenborough’s latest film, A Life On Our Planet, as well as his joining Instagram at 94 and achieving one million followers in record-breaking time, it seems environmental issues are finally coming to the fore. Within the film’s poignant and hard-hitting introduction, Attenborough says, “The natural world is fading. This film is my witness statement and my vision for the future. The story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake, and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.”

It seems this seed has been well and truly planted in the minds of the Irish people with 78% stating that during the pandemic they have recycled more than ever, suggesting that the increase in time spent at home has made it easier for people to do their bit and recycle more. Only 61% however, said they often or always recycle when at work and even less when out and about at 47%.

91% of Irish respondents said they would like to do more when it comes to recycling and a massive 82% feeling that more needs to be done in general to encourage recycling.

 

Of the 14 European countries surveyed, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Italy came up top trumps when quantifying the importance of recycling with scores of 90% plus. Ireland came in 9th place with 80%, and the Netherlands registered last, with just 52% saying they think recycling is important.

However, when looking at how Covid-19 has changed the minds of the masses regarding the environment and taking care of the planet, Ireland is ranked up top in joint 3rd place, alongside the UK and Greece (90%), whilst Poland comes in last with just 73%.

Below: European countries ranked in order of agreeing with the following statement: After Covid-19 it is more important than ever to take care of our planet / environment and recycle.

Romania 94%

Italy 93%

Ireland 90%

UK 90%

Greece 90%

Spain 89%

Hungary 87%

Serbia 87%

France 86%

Austria 84%

Belgium 82%

Netherlands 79%

Czech Republic 78%

Poland 73%