Conclusions of sociological study entitled “Attitudes to littering in natural spaces” will not leave you indifferent

According to a study carried out as part of the SEO/BirdLife LIBERA project, which is being undertaken in alliance with Ecoembes, 20% of the population admit to have disposed of rubbish in forests, 17% admit to littering on the beach, while at least 10% confess to disposing of refuse in rivers, reservoirs or in the sea. 24.9% of people who admitted to littering in natural places said that they had been influenced by the fact that the area was not clean, suggesting that a “call effect” may come into play. 16.1% mention their lack of knowledge of environmental protection issues to justify their actions.

90% of Spaniards say that they are completely against littering in natural places. This is one of the conclusions of a sociological study entitled “Attitudes to littering in natural spaces” carried out within the framework of the LIBERA project, which is being undertaken by SEO/BirdLife in alliance with Ecoembes. The study was based on over 5,000 questionnaires completed all over Spain. The aim was to assess the behaviour of the Spanish population in relation to the waste they generate, their recycling habits and their behaviour in public areas.

The study produced a number of reasons as to why rubbish ended up in natural places. Although 84% believe that responsibility for the fact that waste is to be found in natural places lies with everybody, most of those questioned tended to distance themselves from the problem and excuse their own behaviour. Despite this, 20% of the population admit to having disposed of rubbish in forests, 17% admit to littering on the beach, while at least 10% confess to disposing of refuse in rivers, reservoirs or in the sea.

FCC Aqualia central, Inodoro

Lack of concern about the environment is the main reason why people dispose of waste in natural places, according to 68.9% of those surveyed. Factors such as convenience and laziness are also mentioned by 52% and 41.6% respectively. 24.9% of people who admitted to littering in natural places said that they had been influenced by the fact that the area was not clean, suggesting that a “call effect” may come into play. 16.1% mention their lack of knowledge of environmental protection issues to justify their actions.

When questioned as to the reasons they believed that people continue to leave refuse in natural environments, Spaniards cite lack of resources and the fact that there are insufficient waste containers and litter bins in places such as forests, mountains and beaches. They also point out that increased consumption and overcrowding of tourist areas may explain the presence of litter.