Report finds we want a green environment but 80pc refuse to pay for its upkeep. PEOPLE in this country have an ambivalent attitude to the environment - they want it to be protected but they don't want to sacrifice anything to achieve that, according to a new report.
While a majority want the Government to do more to protect the environment, only 20pc are willing to pay higher taxes to fund such initiatives. While we believe it is vitally important to keep the country 'green', we aren't great at contributing to that effort on an individual basis, the report found. Environmental attitudes studied by McIver Consulting and Patel Tonra in a report presented to the tourism agency CERT as part of a campaign to improve our green image. The report noted that the continuing success of the Tidy Towns competition demonstrated a willingness to work to enhance local amenities. However "Ireland's performance on environmental management has been weak", as evidenced by malpractice in dumping of waste and the concerns about water contaminated by pollution, the report states. People are aware of environmental issues, with 69pc of the population believing its protection is "an urgent and immediate problem". Two thirds suggested the Government should put additional taxes on items that are harmful to the environment, but only 20pc will pay more taxes to fund green initiatives and only 18pc will pay higher prices. "These survey results support the notion that we talk a good environment talk but refuse to walk the walk," the report says. The survey revealed that people could be more vigilant when they are shopping as over 50pc admitted they never examine the labels on purchases. However 78pc suggested clearer labelling might be required to help them make environmentally friendly choices. But 74pc said they had never refused a purchase because of too much packaging. The survey also revealed that 35pc of respondents never purchase phosphate free detergents, 52pc never buy environmentally friendly cosmetics, 25pc never buy recycled tissue/paper products and 46pc never buy concentrated products to avoid excess packaging. And while most people (87pc) acknowledge that it costs money to provide good quality drinking water, over 50pc do not see the need to pay for water because they believe there is enough rainfall to replenish supply. Sixty-six percent believe the country has plenty of good drinking water that costs nothing and a further 35pc believe that as we have a plentiful supply of rainwater there is no need to conserve water. "It is not surprising that only 21pc of participants expressed willingness to pay for water usage above an agreed average free supply for each household," the report adds. And 30pc of respondents admitted incorrectly disposing of household waste liquids into their sinks, drains or toilets. Grainne Cunningham © Irish Independent
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