Survey on waste prevention: Austrians could do more

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While recycling is already firmly anchored in the everyday lives of many people in this country, Austria still has some catching up to do when it comes to avoiding waste.

According to a representative study by the Association of Austrian Waste Management Companies (VOEB), people aged 60 and over are setting a positive example. Six out of ten people in this age group are conscious of avoiding waste. Overall, however, only 43 percent of all Austrians do so.

Waste avoidance: Young people need to be made more aware
According to Wednesday’s press release, the youngest generation needs to be made more aware of this issue. According to the report, only 28 percent of 14- to 19-year-olds consider it essential to reduce the amount of waste they produce. “Those who avoid or reduce packaging, use reusable bottles, handle food with care and use products for as long as possible before disposing of them are already making a major contribution to our environment and reducing the burden on their wallets,” said Gabriele Jüly, President of VOEB.

Thirty-six percent of those surveyed stated that they always shop with a list only to buy what they need. According to the study results, one in four people prefers to buy unpackaged food, especially young people between the ages of 14 and 19. Because climate and environmental protection are essential to many teenagers, the motivation to avoid waste needs to be increased even more, says Jüly.

EU packaging regulation envisages less packaging by 2030
According to the EU Packaging Regulation, significantly less packaging will be placed on the market by 2030. Manufacturers and producers must put less and more recyclable packaging into circulation by then so that new packaging can be produced.

VOEB welcomes the regulation but is calling for more. “Only products that can be recycled at the end of their life should be manufactured, regardless of whether they are textiles, building materials or car tires. That’s how we save energy and raw materials,” said Jüly. However, the ultimate goal is to produce less waste to conserve resources and protect the environment.

Tips for less waste: sustainable shopping and reuse
The VOEB gave the following tips on producing less waste: Eco-friendly purchasing for minimally packaged goods or unpackaged food. Use reusable containers and bottles to reduce single-use items. Be mindful of food, plan with shopping lists and use leftovers creatively. Repair electrical appliances and clothing instead of simply throwing them away. Give away or sell used items.

The survey, which is representative of the population, was conducted by Marketagent on behalf of the VOEB. Between the end of August and September 6, 1,000 web-active Austrians aged 14 and 75 were surveyed.

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