Recycling in Greece – survey

Our natural environment is still in terrible condition. One of main problems is littering caused by an increasing consumerism in many countries (including Greece). We – authors of this article – asked the Greek a few questions about issues like waste sorting or plastic recycling. We wanted to see how good their knowledge of those problems is. Following this article, you’ll learn more about results of this survey and implications we made of it.

Methods of collecting data

Our survey consisted of five simple questions we asked people met on streets of Larisa – one of the largest cities in central Greece. We took care of finding diverse statistical sample by choosing people of different gender from different age groups. Among answerers. Even though we had problems caused by language barrier, citizens of Larisa were eagerly answering our questions. 

Results of our survey

Results of our survey definitely aren’t optimistic. At the beginning, answerers estimated their knowledge of recycling. Opinions were very different. The most common were answers between 5 and 8. Plastic bottle needs between 100 and 1000 years to decompose but only 4 out of 15 asked gave answer from that range. The most common answer was “10" – three answerers gave this number. On second place there were two answers with an equal amount of votes – “20" and “100". We can clearly see that the Greek tend to underestimate an amount of time necessary for natural environment to get rid of waste. Only one out of all answerers knew where an empty milk carton should be thrown away even though two out of three declared that they’re sorting trash, which is very worrying. It’s worth mentioning that people who answered correctly to our questions tend to overestimate their knowledge, while people rating it very high often had all their answers incorrect. At least, citizens of Larisa are aware of the problem as only one out of 13 found level of education in Greece about climate advanced enough.

Next steps

In this tough situation we should consider what should be done to end this climate crisis. In Greece, education seems to be the weakest link because even though most of the Greek are aware of this problem, they don’t understand the scale and don’t have enough knowledge to properly protect natural environment. Incorporating this education into compulsory lessons and launching an informational campaign would bring about positive results. Right now, the most important thing for Greek people to do is attempting to gain knowledge on their own to improve this terrible situation caused by the lack of knowledge.