Reuse and recycling, the Italians and the circular economy

The survey carried out by Cen and Legacoop in collaboration with Ipsos

In the past 3 years, almost 1 out of 2 Italians (45%) bought a used product and 1 out of 3 (36%) a reconditioned or regenerated product; for 8 out of 10 Italians it is important to reduce packaging. These are some of the results of the survey, carried out by Cen and Legacoop in collaboration with Ipsos, on a representative sample of citizens, presented today at the Conference on the circular economy.

Italians therefore embrace the circular economy, but what are the preferred methods? Leasing (63%), rental (63%) and sharing (50%) are mainly used for cars and motorcycles; the purchase of second-hand clothing and accessories (37%); regenerated second hand concerns tech products (66%); the purchase of new products with slight defects for household appliances (39%).

Yet, for 32% of people, we live in a society that is not used to reuse, for 28%, people always prefer to have the latest model released on the market. These are the two main limits to the diffusion of used, reconditioned or regenerated products.

The purchase of goods, products and services is considered more expensive but also the simplest to use, while sharing is considered by 34% of the people interviewed to bring the most environmental benefits. Compared to the new one, the regenerated or reconditioned used product is considered less durable by 46% of the sample, less reliable by 36%, less easy to find by 31% of the people involved in the survey. In purchasing decisions, Italians are careful to consider the duration of the product (87%), the fact that it is repairable (83%), recyclable (81%) and are influenced by the reviews of other consumers (79%). They tend to trust sustainability advertising communications.

YOUNG PEOPLE’S CHOICES. Leasing, rental and sharing are used more than the average (+ 10-11%) by the population aged between 18 and 30. The under 30s, however, are the most skeptical about the proposals to encourage a more circular approach to purchasing decisions. They have little faith in the ability to improve governance of the sector.

According to the survey, then, the fear of being scammed it is a braking element both in the sale and in the purchase of used goods: 29% and 49%, respectively, of the interviewees expressed this fear. In addition to this reason, time and effort required are also considered limits to the sale of used products (31%). Lack of knowledge of the market and prices is a further disincentive in relation to the purchase of used products for 29% of the interviewees.

The packaging. Over 80% of the people interviewed believe that reducing packaging is important. Furthermore, for 84% of Italians, it is very or quite important that the packaging is made with recyclable material. 83% consider it very or quite important that it is reusable several times and made with reusable materials in an ecological way, allowing a reduction in the consumption of water, energy and other resources.