Opinion study among inhabitants in Małopolska region

In the 15th edition of opinion study made among inhabitants of Małopolska region, people were asked about their knowledge and associations with the concept of circular economy.

Besides they were asked about activities for environmental protection, product re-use, ecological attitudes and consumer habits, energy and water saving, and evaluation of municipal waste management.

As every year, 3000 inhabitants over 18 years, including 52% of women and 48% of men, took part in the “Opinion study among inhabitants in Małopolska region “. The study was carried out by the Regional Development Observatory of the Małopolska Region.

Here we have a shortcut and the most important conclusions based on the study.

Associations with the circular economy

Less than 5% of respondents declared that they knew what the shortcut “CE” meant. Only 13 people were able to expand the abbreviation accurately, giving the answer “circular economy”.

1/5 of respondents’ associations concerned water saving, rainwater use and water management. The second position was taken by associations with total waste, its segregation and waste management – 18%. Recycling is also in the top three associations – 14%. Almost every tenth indication concerned energy saving and renewable energy sources.

Everyday actions to protect the environment

Almost all respondents (99%) declared that they segregate waste, and more than 95% make thoughtful purchases to avoid food waste. As many as 87% of respondents repair products instead of buying new ones.

The smallest percentage of indications concerned activities such as: replacing private car travel with public transport, bicycle or car-sharing (60%) and renting and/or replacing products instead of buying new ones (51%).

Inhabitants of Kraków were leaders in the case of using public transport, cycling or car-sharing – 73% (19 p.p. difference compared to Kraków district).


Products second life

Secondhand books or cars were used by 3/4 of respondents. Wearing secondhand clothes was declared by 64% of respondents. Secondhand tools or bicycles were used by 54% and 53% of respondents.

The least popular was using secondhand mobile phones (37% respondents). More than a half of the surveyed inhabitants of Małopolska region don’t consider using a given device after someone else in the future.

Internet portals and Facebook groups are the most popular in the context of purchasing secondhand items (66% indications). Over 57% people buy secondhand items directly from friends, family or neighbors.

Unused and unnecessary things were giving back to others for free by more than 3/4 respondents. Almost 50% of respondents donate things to charity. Unused items were sold by 1/4 of respondents or simply thrown away by less than 4% of people without giving the products a second life.

Pro-ecological consumer attitudes

  • 95% of Małopolska residents preferred if the products they buy would be more durable, even if more expensive. The same percentage of respondents would rather stores to offer repairs in addition to selling products.
  • 80% of respondents would like trade networks and manufacturers to help selling or exchanging secondhand items. They would also resign of products if they would learn that the manufacturer has done something with a negative impact on the environment.
  • 88% of respondents consider the environmental impact of food products and wrappings when buying them. Over 3/4 of respondents consider the environmental impact when purchasing lighting items, cosmetics or cleaning supplies.
  • 89% of respondents go shopping with a reusable bag and almost 3/4 of respondents do it definitely often. 70% of respondents also try to reduce plastic packaging and not to throw away food leftovers. Instead of throwing food away it should be processed or given to others (according to 67% of respondents).

Circular economy opinion poll

Saving energy and water

A great attention was pay by 97% of respondents to energy saving home lighting. The answer “no and I don’t intend to use it in the future” was indicated by only 1% of respondents.

Needless or unused appliances were often switched off when not on by almost 3/4 of respondents.

87% of respondents save water by using shower more often than bathing. 2/3 of respondents use dishwasher daily instead of washing dishes manually. The answer “I don’t save water” was indicated by less than 3% of respondents.

Commune activities for circular economy

80% of respondents were being aware of communal biodegradable waste collecting system.

Installations of renewable energy sources were noticed by 71% respondents in their communities. More than a half of respondents noticed educational and promotional activities for environmental protection and circular economy.

More than 40% of respondents noticed expansion of green areas, installation of containers for electrical waste, installation of hybrid, energy-saving street lamps in their communities.

Municipal waste management was rated by 67% of communal inhabitants positively. 28% of respondents were satisfied definitely.

Motivations for applying circular economy principles

Care for natural environment was the main motivation for over 3/4 of respondents who implemened the circular economy principles. A high percentage of indications (62% of respondents) also concerned financial issues and saving money.


The full report  is available in polish language version.

Fot. Canva stock