Indians concerned about effects of Non-recyclable Waste on Environment

87% Indians concerned about effects of Non-Recyclable Product Waste on Environment: Ipsos Global Survey on World Environment Day

Indians blame Air pollution, climate change and overpopulation most for environment woes


According to a new global survey by Ipsos to mark World Environment Day, (which happens to be on June 05), 87% Indians said that they are concerned about the effects of non-recyclable waste on the environment, which includes plastic packaging, plastic bags and other disposable objects that cannot be recycled. 

And the top three environment issues identified by Indians which need attention are:  Air Pollution, Global Warming (climate change) and Overpopulation.

Non-Recyclable waste is wreaking havoc on the environment and awareness building campaigns have sensitized Indians to its adverse impact. On the other hand, Air Pollution has reached alarming proportions in some of the Indian metros leading to respiratory problems. Likewise, due to climate change, we are witnessing drought, floods and even landslides; and while, overpopulation is putting a huge strain on our resources, these issues will need tackling and it should start with decongesting our cities and adopting green fuels,” said Parijat Chakraborty, Executive Director, Ipsos Public Affairs.  

Some of the other worrisome environment issues identified by Indians in the pecking order were found to be, water pollution, deforestation, poor quality drinking water, wildlife conservation, natural resource depletion, future food sources and supplies, emissions, flooding, soil erosion, and over packaging of consumer goods.  

Interestingly, globally the top three issues taking centerstage were Global Warming or climate change, air pollution and dealing with waste. 

How do citizens perceive climate change?

89% Indians believe that climate change is occurring in some capacity.

And Indians believe that either climate change is at least partly caused by human activity or entirely caused by humans.

Non-Recyclable Product Waste

87% Indians said they are concerned about the effects of non-recyclable waste on the environment, which includes plastic packaging, plastic bags and other disposable objects that cannot be recycled. 

What policy actions should be taken to reduce non-recyclable product waste? Indians recommend a combination of effective actions.

48% Indians believe that government investment to improve recycling would be effective; 40% on the other hand feel that higher taxes on supermarkets and shops that use a lot of non-recyclable packaging would be effective; 42% want non-recyclables to be taxed, to dissuade consumers from using them; 37% feel that a Public Information Campaign will build awareness and educate consumers on the consequences of their actions in the hope of changing behavior; 37% recommend a government move to name and shame bad businesses; and 35% Indians want  fines for households that do not recycle enough.       

And what personal actions are Indians willing to take?

50% Indians say they will re-use disposable items like plastic bags and plastic bottles;  50% say that they will buy more products made from recycled materials; 43% say they will stop buying goods that have packaging that cannot be recycled; 39% say they will stop going to supermarkets and shops which use a lot of packaging that cannot be recycled; 28% would pay extra for goods without recyclable packaging; and 24% say they will pay more tax so that recycling facilities can be improved.

Ultimately, the onus lies with whom? Who should be leading efforts to reduce non-recyclable product waste?   

39% Indians say All-of-the-above equally (all stakeholders); 18% say Government; 13% say Packaged Goods Producers; 12% say Consumers of packaged goods and 11% say Sellers of packaged goods.

“It all boils down to collective efforts,” added Chakraborty.

 About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted between March 23 – April 6, 2018. This study collected a sample of roughly 20,794 adults age 16+ in 28 countries around the world, via the Ipsos Online Panel system in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Great Britain, and the USA.

Approximately 1000 individuals aged 18-65 were surveyed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, Romania, Russia, Spain, Great Britain, and the USA. Approximately 500 individuals aged 18-65 were surveyed in Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be weighted to match the profile of the population. 17 of the 28 countries surveyed generate nationally representative samples in their countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and United States). Brazil, Chile, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey produce a national sample that is considered to represent a more affluent, connected population. These are still a vital social group to understand in these countries, representing an important and emerging middle class.

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can  download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.




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