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Environmental Effect & Waste Management Survey Essay

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Updated: Jun 8th, 2022

Chart 1 in the Appendix is a compilation of survey results after talking to five friends and three family members. The survey was conducted in Laval, Quebec, and all eight participants live in the same area. The result shows that most respondents are aware of some of the issues caused by environmental waste and lack of recycling. However, most of them do not actively work towards reducing it.

The most common reason for buying a food product is a necessity – a need to have personnel hygiene products or food, which is typically packaged in plastic. Participant 8 expressed some concerns about the upfront costs of non-disposable items. Most participants report using a large number of personal hygiene products, such as shower gels and shampoo. While it is difficult to find a replacement for these substances, the packaging that these products come in is usually plastic, which creates an environmental problem.

Recycling was taken into account by some of the participants, indicating limited awareness. Participants 2, 4, and 5 mentioned mandatory recycling in their town. Participant 5 was aware of local recycling opportunities, while others did not mention any. Consumer habits are affected by multiple factors – availability of products, personal preferences, perceptions, and environmental consciousness. There is so much waste because even Participant 5, who appears to be the most environmentally conscious and knowledgeable on the topics of recycling, admits to using a lot of disposable products.

To increase the number of people who recycle, public awareness campaigns should be launched to raise awareness about alternatives to disposable products and local recycling facilities. For example, some of the most commonly used disposable products can be replaced with reusable options. Purchasing habits can be changed through awareness as well since people will be aware of their options and the impact that the products they use daily have on the environment. Overall, this survey has shown that the participants are quite conscious of the waste they produce by using disposable products.

Appendix

Survey Results

Question # Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Participant 5 Participant 6 Participant 7 Participant 8
1. What types and amount of products do you buy and use on a daily basis? Durable: stationary, books, plates.
Disposable: shampoo, hair conditioner, makeup products, lotion, toothpaste, food containers.
Durable: jewelry, recycled clothes, reusable dishes.
Disposable: shower gel, shampoo, diapers, razors, food packaging.
Durable: household goods.
Disposable: paper towels, toilet paper, shower products, packaging, especially for food.
Durable: dishes, reusable shopping bags.
Disposable: stationery products, plastic bags, razors, hair shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste.
Durable: water bottle, reusable silicone cups, pens and pencils, hair combs, cloth shopping bag.
Disposable: q-tips, some sanitary products, shower gel and shampoos, body lotions.
Durable: laptop and other electronics, shoes, house appliances, hairdryer, a hairbrush.
Disposable: cotton swabs and pads, makeup products, toner, face cream.
Durable: cutlery, bicycle, car, home products (furniture, decorations, and others).
Disposable: paper napkins, water bottles, sanitary products,
Durable: computer, e-book reader, hairdryer, fridge, electric car.
Disposable: food containers (juice boxes, plastic bags, and paper containers that the food is packed in), hygiene products.
2. Do you consider buying alternatives to disposable products? Yes, if they are available at a local store. No. Yes, I prefer to buy products that are recyclable. I did not consider this until today. Yes, I try to use as many reusable products as possible, for example, I have been shopping with canvas bags for several years now. I think that most products that I use cannot be replaced with non-disposables. I compare disposable and non-disposable products sometimes and buy the option that is less expensive. I buy them if the cost seems justified.
3. What do you do with disposable products when you are finished with them? I throw them away. I know that at work we are required to sort the trash since it will be recycled later. But at home, I usually put these things in the garbage bag and forget about it. Sort and recycle. I dispose of them. I recycle them when possible, there are many opportunities for this in Quebec – paper bags, juice containers, metal, and many other things can be recycled. My apartment building has containers for recycling, so I put the products there. Throw away the disposables and buy new items for replacement. I sort the waste when possible.
4. Are you aware of the opportunities for recycling in your community? (Y/N) No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
5. Do you send any of the following products for recycling? Aluminum No
Plastic
No
Glass
No
Paper
No
Aluminum No
Plastic
Yes
Glass
No
Paper
Yes
Aluminum Yes
Plastic
Yes
Glass
Yes
Paper
Yes
Aluminum No
Plastic
Yes
Glass
Yes
Paper
No
Aluminum Yes
Plastic
Yes
Glass
Yes
Paper
Yes
Aluminum Yes
Plastic
Yes
Glass
Yes
Paper
Yes
Aluminum No
Plastic
Yes
Glass
No
Paper
No
Aluminum Yes
Plastic
Yes
Glass
Yes
Paper
Yes
6. How often do you buy clothes? One item every two weeks. I buy one or two new items every two months. Six to ten items every three months. One item per month. Once every six months, only two or three items. I rarely shop, so about one or two new things every year. Up to five new items every season. Every four months I buy several new clothing items.
7. How do you decide what to buy? I look for comfortable things β€” mainly sneakers and sports pants. If I like something and it is comfortable β€” I buy it. I look at current trends and what others wear and buy the things I like, mostly online. Shopping is relaxing, so sometimes I buy things without thinking about it too much. If I like something I buy it if my budget allows for it. I do not buy fashionable products, only the ones I need, for example, if my jeans no longer look good β€” I buy a new pair. I try to buy things that are high-quality and that will last for years, so I pay attention to the design of clothes, it should be timeless and the materials. Sometimes I buy clothes made from recycled materials, but these are much more expensive than the fast-fashion items. I pay attention to trends and buy things that will be popular in the following season. Also, because I shop a lot I try to buy inexpensive things so that I can throw them away if I no longer need them without regrets. I go shopping and choose the things I think I will wear a lot.
8. What do you do with clothes you do not want anymore? I throw them away in the trash. Give it to friends or family if they are still in good condition. There is a textile recovery center in Quebec where you can send your old clothes and they will recycle the. Keep it in my closet. I give it to charities, there are many places where you can donate clothes in Quebec. Some clothes can be donated, some I have to throw away. Usually, I throw them away or offer clothes to friends. Donate
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