Education

Italian youths and the environment

A recent study reveals young Italians’ sensitivity to the planet conditions and their will to improve the situation

Italian youths and the environment

Claudia Astarita

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The Italian research centre AstraRicerche has published an interesting study on youths' environmental awareness for COMIECO (the Italian National Consortium for Recycling). The research was conducted for the event Riciclo Aperto 2015, which hosted this year 91 companies active in the field of paper and cardboard recycling as well as 17,200 students. The latters - aged between 15 and 19 years old - were the protagonists of the survey.

The pressure youths feel for the planet safeguard is showed by 81% of them who declared to be worried for the entire earth's conditions. For this reason, young people often look for information about these themes on the Internet as well as among kin and family. In fact, a remarkable percentage of adolescents (86%) declared they received an environmental education and about half of them (54%) got information by their households. Unfortunately, school was not mentioned. Although from next year environmental education would be part of the school curriculum in Italy, 81% of interviewees did not know about it. Nevertheless, 90% of them were enthusiast about it, as an effective guide towards an efficient recycle.

Worth mentioning are also the ideas arose on what happens "after the bin". Even if the majority stated that wastes are checked and then divided to be reused, a small percentage (26.6.%) assumed with cynical tones that recycling is useless since everything is later put together.

The interviewees appeared together as a generation concerned about the environment and ready to take action to protect it. For instance, they declared their will to increase the use of bicycles and to but sustainable products. Still, on the first place recycling is regarded as the best action to undertake because of its double value. It has a cultural importance since it stands as a symbol of civility (87.4%) making Italy a more advanced country and fostering a sense of "actorship" for a better community within the citizenship. Furthermore, recycling has a sustainable value (90%) since it raises awareness among Italians, reduces pollution and waste.

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