Greeks still dependent on cars

Greeks recognize that human behavior has played a leading role in causing problems for the environment but the majority continue to use their car on a daily basis and rarely recycle, according to survey results made public yesterday. The results, published by Sunday’s Kathimerini, were from a survey commissioned by the environmentalist organization WWF and show that 54 percent of those questioned regularly use their car to get around every day. Twenty percent replied that they use a bus to go to school or work while less than one in 10 get around on foot. Public transport in the capital has improved in recent years, especially after the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, with a continuously expanding metro and a recently built tram system. However, Greeks still largely rely on their own cars, with just over six in 10 replying that they get around every day with their one mode of transport (car, motorcycle or taxi). On the recycling front, figures were disappointing as 58 percent said that they had not recycled anything in the last month. Only 11 percent recycle on a regular basis, meaning five times or more in the previous month, according to the survey. Greece has been one of the European Union’s laggards in terms of operating programs that reuse waste and is some 13 years behind the rest of Europe, experts say. According to the Environment Ministry, some 14 percent of rubbish was recycled in 2006 and it is hoped this figure will rise to an ambitious 20 percent this year. The corresponding EU average stands at around 33 percent. A growing number of recycling programs are starting to get off the ground across the country, but with limited results, since municipal officials have dragged their feet on projects and authorities have done a poor job informing citizens about the services. The survey was conducted by VPRC between January 16 to 24 with a sample of 700 people above the age of 18 all over Greece.

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