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Gen Z cares less about environment than predecessors

Generation Z in Hungary is lagging behind the older generations in caring about the environment, with one third of surveyed Gen Zers dismissing the protection of the environment as unimportant and declining to recycle waste, according to a survey by online retail site Jófogás.

According to the research, Baby Boomers care the most, with 98% thinking the environment is a key issue, and 94% recycling regularly. Generations X and Y also share the same mindset, but Hungarians above 70 years of age seem to care less, with only 77% caring about the environment and 71% about recycling.

In general, Hungarians think "greener" than the countryʼs logistics and infrastructure allows. Some 89% of respondents collect waste selectively, but transporting recyclable waste currently poses a significant challenge across the whole country. According to the press release, last week some Budapest households were told not to separate regular and recyclable waste, as waste management companies could only guarantee to take away regular waste.

About 75% of those surveyed know what the term "zero waste" means. However, one-fifth of respondents think the term only means using glass bottles instead of plastic ones.

The list of what respondents perceive as the most hazardous risks is topped by plastic waste, followed by groundwater and air pollution, and deforestation.

Half of those who do not collect waste selectively believe there is no point in doing so as they think different types of waste get mixed up with each other during the process anyway.

Every fifth non-recycler believes recycling is too time-consuming, with 16% believing their waste does not matter due to its small quantity, and 15% thinking that recycling does not help in solving environmental problems.