News: Europe – Perceptions of second-hand products – reasons not to buy
European Commission report finds that quality, usability and health and safety are citizens' concerns when buying second-hand products.
Tuesday, 12th July 2011
The survey, “Attitudes Of Europeans Towards Resource Efficiency”, was published in March 2011. It was commissioned by the EC’s Directorate-General for the Environment in order to gauge EC consumers’ perceptions, attitudes and practices concerning resource efficiency, waste management and recycling. One of the objectives of the survey was to examine citizens’ willingness to buy second-hand products. Overall, almost 7 in 10 (68%) EU citizens said that they were willing to buy certain products second-hand, such as furniture, electronic equipment or textiles; Swedes (87%), Finns (86%) and Danes (83%) were the most likely to give this answer. In almost all EU Member States, respondents were more likely to say that they would buy second-hand furniture than they were to say that they would buy second-hand electronic equipment or textiles. Almost 6 in 10 (57%) EU citizens – who would not buy certain items second-hand ? said that concerns about quality and usability prevented them from doing this; one in two interviewees mentioned health and safety concerns. The survey also examined: • citizens’ perceptions of Europe’s efficiency in its use of natural resources • the amount of waste EU households produce and whether they separate that waste for recycling or composting • preferred actions to improve EU households’ and communities’ waste management • citizens’ views on how to pay for waste management • EU households’ food waste production and preferred ways of decreasing that waste • Citizens’ perceptions of the importance of a product’s environmental impact when making purchasing decisions.