Remedia– GFK Eurisko research

Italians and recycling activities: behavior of our citizens, the collection process and the potential of recycling

A gap with Europe in terms of quantity, more public collection points, more information for citizens these are the main aspects emerging from this innovative research done by Remedia and GFK Eurisko in collaboration with ReMade in Italy and ASSORAEE.

This research takes into consideration one the most critical group among the range of WEEE, the Small Household EEE - from now on called SHEE - meaning small electric or electronic equipments used for body or house care, pc, printers, tv sets, telephones, home video appliances, toys, that nowadays are products extremely popular in everywhere, and describes the entire recycling chain from end users to recycled material, passing through the public sites and the authorized treatment plants.  

Italy, unfortunately, registers the lowest percentage of SHEE collected 16,8% vs a continental average of 26%. The gap is due to the limited numbers of public collection sites. For instance, in Europe every 10.000 citizens there is a collection site, in Italy the density is inadequate (0,83%) and in the Southern is even worse (0,3%).

In 2010 the collected and recycled SHEE were 37,000 tons versus 220,000 tons of SHEE put on the market. Even if the collection rate of these small products is slowly growing, it is still weak compared with other kind of WEEE and registers a gap of 10 points less of the entire national WEEE rate (26%).

The wrong behavior seems to be related to a lack of information but also to distraction and laziness. And the perspective is demoralizing: 3 Italians vs 4 say not to know the meaning of WEEE and only the 17% knows our Italian Decree and its contents. Peculiar (curious) is the level of "self awareness": the 57% of the interviewed consider to be enough informed about the correct way to waste SHEE.

But Italians have shown to pay attention to their health and environment: more than 51% believes that a correct collection of SHEE produces environmental advantages. Only the 36% add also economic advantages.

The lack of information is even more evident when talking about the Decree so called "1against1"  or the chance to bring to a retailer an old equipment when buying a new one: only the 53% knows the Decree and only 1 vs 5, when buying a new EEE, makes use of this chance.

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