The latest Public Attitude Survey conducted by MEPA shows that people are increasingly giving more importance to environmental matters. OUTLOOK takes a look at the main results.
The latest Public Attitude Survey conducted by MEPA reveals that the environment is becoming an increasingly important topic for the Maltese population.
According to the latest Survey, three environmental issues in particular, are of concern to the public. Air came out on top, with 70 per cent of respondents naming it as their main environmental concern, a position which was held by waste in 1999. The vast majority of respondents (83 per cent) also agreed that air quality affected their health and an even higher amount (89 per cent) agreed with restricting car use when there are air quality issues. Respondents’ concerns with air quality were also reflected in the fact that 85 per cent of them agreed that they would be ready to accept stricter vehicle tests in order to tackle air quality issues.
The second most important issue according to the general public relates to waste, with 52 per cent of respondents named waste as being a major priority. Practically all respondents, 94 per cent, declared they made an effort to waste less, although 62 per cent disagreed that collection of household waste should not be on a daily basis.
A positive trend was also revealed when 70 per cent stated that they sometimes purchased products that had less packaging in order to reduce waste. A similar percentage (73 per cent) held the view that they were well informed on waste disposal methods, while 58 per cent of respondents agreed that excavation waste should be used for land reclamation and 59 per cent agreed that recycled water from sewage should be used for irrigation.
The third most important issue was land use, with 27 per cent of respondents naming it as a priority. The results of the Survey show an increase in respondents who regard Malta as being too built up. Just over half of respondents (52 per cent) regarded the environmental impact of construction as negative and 56 per cent believed that Gozo should not be built up further.
The Public Attitude Survey also researched a number of other topics, including the conservation of old buildings, energy and climate change. The most interesting findings amongst these three topics included the fact that an impressive 85 per cent of respondents agreed with the conservation of old buildings while 84 per cent perceived climate change as having an impact on the Maltese Islands. This was complemented by the fact that 74 per cent of respondents were willing to invest money in energy-efficient devices and 67 per cent were willing to pay a little more for electricity from renewable sources.
Interestingly, the study also highlights the fact that the vast majority of respondents (80 per cent) felt that their daily actions could have a positive effect on the environment.
The environment is becoming an increasingly important topic for the Maltese population, and has even surpassed the economy on their list of priorities;
Air quality is the most important environmental issue;
Waste and land use deemed as being the second most important environmental issues;
74 per cent of respondents willing to invest money in energy-efficient devices;
67 per cent willing to pay a little more for electricity from renewable sources.