[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

In September of this year, the Cabinet Office Japan conducted an opinion poll, interviewing 1,896 people, 55% female regarding attitudes towards environmental issues. This rather lengthy survey will be split over three days. Note that the high degree of recycling of packaging and sorting rubbish is due in part to many municipalities implementing separated rubbish collection and part to most stations, convenience stores, etc, having separate bins prominently positioned. The overall feeling I get from the answers is that people do put a little bit of effort into environmental protection at a personal level, but the motivation seems to be as much just saving money as any other more altruistic goal.

Q1: In your daily lifestyle, which of the following environmental protection activities do you make effort to do? (Multiple answer)

Recycle paper, milk packs, PET bottles, cans, etc, and dispose of rubbish separately 73.4%
Don’t pour oil and food scraps down the drain 56.9%
Try not to set air conditioner too low or heater too high 50.9%
Save electricity and water, and use low energy products 46.3%
Reduce rubbish as much as possible 45.0%
As much as possible, avoid buying single-use items. 28.0%
Buy recycled paper-based and other kind to the environment products 27.0%
Try to prevent creation of noise pollution 26.7%
Don’t take a plastic bag from the shop when shopping 23.2%
Other 0.3%
Nothing in particular 7.2%
Don’t know 0.2%

Q2: Where do you get your information and knowledge about environmental problems from? (Multiple answer)

Television or radio 88.6%
Newspapers 67.6%
Official White Papers and publicity sheets 30.5%
Books and magazines 22.4%
Friends and family 21.6%
Activities of NGOs, neighbourhood groups, etc 15.7%
Work bulletin board and pamphlets 14.5%
Internet 13.9%
Lectures 5.2%
Other 0.3%
None of the above 2.0%
Don’t know 0.2%

Q3: Have you participated in environmental protection activities such as attending lectures, tree planting, recycling, beautification etc?

I actively participate 8.6%
I have participated 35.5%
I haven’t participated, but if I get the chance I think I want to 24.1%
I haven’t participated, and I don’t think I want to 29.7%
Don’t know 2.1%

Q4: In order to protect the environment, in the future what sort of activities do you think you want to do? (Multiple answer)

I want to participate in daily living environment protection schemes and efforts (to SQ) 64.8%
I want to actively participate in municipal environmental protection activites (to SQ) 15.0%
I want to co-operate financially with environmental protection schemes (to SQ) 11.8%
Others (to SQ) 0.2%
Nothing in particular 21.5%
Don’t know 1.8%

Q4SQ: When you decide to take part in environmental protection, what sort of things are necessary? (Multiple answer)

Information about the state of the environmental problem and countermeasures, etc 45.5%
Information about how the environmental problem related to daily life, schemes in my locality, etc 54.0%
Groups that I can co-operate with and carry out activities 37.6%
Location to obtain information and discuss about tackling issues 21.6%
Time to learn about or participate in activities 16.5%
Others 0.3%
Don’t know 3.4%

Q5: Which of the following is closest to your way of thinking about the relationship between environmental protection and the economy?

There is a connection between economic development and progress in tackling environmental issues 31.8%
Progress in tackling environmental issues is necessary, but it does not necessarily inhibit economic development 22.0%
Even though there will be a negative influence on economic development, the tackling of environmental protection issues should be actively promoted 23.2%
Even if it means environmental protection is postponed, economic development should be the priority 3.2%
There is not really any relationship between environmental protection and economic development 6.8%
Don’t know 13.0%

Q6: What do you think are the causes of the rubbish problem? (Multiple answer)

High production, high consumption, high disposal lifestyle culture 62.8%
There are too many disposable items easily available 56.5%
Insufficent regulations and enforcement of illegal dumping 40.1%
Regarding waste and disposal issues, persons and industry care little about waste production and have only faint recognition of their responsibilities as waste producers 39.2%
Insufficient addressing of recycling and reusing 38.4%
Producers and vendors have not carried out their responsibilities to recover their products after use 33.4%
Insufficient maintenance of waste management and disposal facilities 22.0%
Other 1.4%
Don’t know 1.7%

Q7: In Japan, in 2002 it was determined that current rubbish disposal facilities would fill in around 13 years for normal rubbish, and in around five years for industrial waste. Given this situation, what do you think the country must do in the future? From the following list, select the one most important thing you think should be carried out.

Before recycling or incineration, we should strive to reduce waste production 47.3%
We should strive to reuse or recycle waste and unused goods, etc 35.6%
We should endevour to maintain disposal facilities and incinerators 13.2%
Other 0.4%
Don’t know 3.5%

Q8: Do you make efforts to reduce waste in your daily life? Which of the following do you try to do? (Multiple answer)

Often use refillable products 55.0%
Endeavour to do “eco-cooking”; not buying or using too much, using every scrap, and reducing kitchen waste 39.3%
Don’t buy faddish goods or other stuff I might soon get bored with 36.9%
Try not to accept plastic bags at checkout 31.9%
Select durable and long life products 31.7%
Repair broken goods and continue to use them 29.4%
Don’t buy disposable products 28.1%
Endeavour to lease or rent goods rather than buying them 22.2%
Make compost from kitchen waste 21.8%
Give unneeded goods to friends 10.9%
Other 0.4%
Nothing in particular 8.4%
No answer 0.1%

[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]


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