Majority of people in Belgium consciously buy environmentally unfriendly products

Majority of people in Belgium consciously buy environmentally unfriendly products
Credit: Helen Lyons/The Brussels Times

A majority of people living in Belgium still buy certain products even when they are aware of their eco-unfriendliness, a recent survey has found.

Slightly more than one in four people (28%) have actively stopped buying certain products after discovering that they are not environmentally friendly, according to a survey of more than 1,000 people living in Belgium, conducted by Steven Trypsteen, an economist at ING, in collaboration with Ipsos.

One reason could be that around six in ten people (59%) believe that sustainably produced food is always more expensive, but that the same number of people don’t know how to identify whether a product is eco-friendly or not.

“This is more the case for Belgians aged 35 or more than for young people. This may have something to do with a lack of knowledge,” Trypsteen told Belga news agency.

“This result is important because lack of knowledge may be the reason why Belgians are not convinced that their behaviour can make a difference. In principle, giving the right information could therefore remedy this.”

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The same survey found that just 15% of respondents believe that their own actions have a significant impact on the world’s environmental and social challenges, which essentially means around 85% of people are unlikely to change their behaviour out of concern for the environment.

Finally, the survey found that a vast majority of respondents look to the government for answers to environmental challenges.

For example, 65% of Belgians agree that economic stimulus packages should focus on accelerating the transition to a low-carbon future, and 69% think that government financial support for business should be accompanied by commitments to achieving climate targets.


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