Publication - Statistics

Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2013 Scottish Household Survey: Revised October 2015

Published: 13 Aug 2014
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781784127428

A National Statistics publication for Scotland, providing reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, behaviour and attitudes of Scottish households and adults across a number of topic areas including local government, neighbourhoods, health and transport.

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

Contents
Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2013 Scottish Household Survey: Revised October 2015
11 Environment

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

11 Environment

INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT

The Scottish Government and partners are working towards creating a greener Scotland by improving the natural and built environment, and protecting it for present and future generations. Actions are being taken to reduce local and global environmental impacts, through tackling climate change, moving towards a zero-waste Scotland, increasing the use of renewable energy and conserving natural resources. The Scottish Government is also committed to promoting the enjoyment of the countryside and of green spaces in and around towns and cities.

There are a number of Scottish Government National Outcomes relating to the environment[96], including: We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations; We reduce the local and global environmental impact of our consumption and production; and We live in well-designed, sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need.

A range of National Indicators[97] have been developed to track progress towards environmental outcomes. One of these indicators, ‘increase people’s use of Scotland’s outdoors’, is now monitored using data from the Scottish Household Survey (SHS). Other relevant national indicators include ‘reduce Scotland's carbon footprint’ and ‘reduce waste generated’ (although these are monitored using data sources other than the SHS). Some local authorities use the SHS to assess progress towards environmental objectives, including those in their Single Outcome Agreements (a statement of the outcomes that they want to see for their local area).

This chapter begins by exploring attitudes towards climate change and then reports findings on recycling of food waste. It finishes by looking at visits to the outdoors and access to local greenspace.

Main Findings

Climate change

  • Less than half of adults (46 per cent) viewed climate change as an immediate and urgent problem. Seven per cent felt it was not really a problem and 13 per cent were not convinced that climate change is happening.
  • Adults with a degree or professional qualification were more likely to view climate change as an immediate and urgent problem compared to adults with no qualifications (60 per cent compared to 33 per cent).
  • Adults aged 16 to 24 and those aged 75 and over were least likely to consider climate change to be an urgent problem (38 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively).

Food waste recycling

  • In 2013, 37 per cent of households disposed of food waste in local authority-provided food recycling caddies (an increase from 26 per cent in 2012), and 65 per cent of households put their food waste in their general rubbish (a decrease from 73 per cent in 2012).
  • Households living in flats were more likely than those living in a house or bungalow to put their food waste in the general rubbish bin (78 per cent compared to 57 per cent) and less likely to use a food-recycling caddy (25 per cent compared to 43 per cent).

Visits to the outdoors and greenspace

  • In 2013, 46 per cent of adults in Scotland visited Scotland's outdoors one or more times a week, an increase from 42 per cent in 2012. Sixteen per cent never visited the outdoors.
  • Around two-thirds (or 68 per cent) of adults in Scotland have access to a useable local greenspace that is within a five minute walk from their home. Over a third (36 per cent) of adults use their local greenspace either every day or several times a week. Around one quarter (24 per cent) of adults do not use their local greenspace at all.
  • The proportion of adults who never visit the outdoors or use their local greenspace falls as the level of deprivation in the area falls (for greenspace this ranges from 31 per cent in the 20 per cent most deprived areas to 18 per cent in the least deprived).

ATTITUDES TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Introduction and context

Action to address climate change is a high priority for the Scottish Government. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009[98] set a target of reducing Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050, compared with the 1990 baseline. The Scottish Government’s Second Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2)[99] for meeting its climate change targets sets out how Scotland can deliver these targets over the period 2013–2027. The Low Carbon Behaviours Framework[100] sets out a strategic approach to encourage low carbon lifestyles amongst individuals, households and businesses in Scotland.

Public attitudes about the extent to which climate change is an immediate problem for Scotland are likely to influence their willingness to support initiatives to address climate change and to change their own behaviours. In 2013 the SHS included, for the first time, a question about views on the immediacy and urgency of climate change. Respondents were presented with four different statements about the problem of climate change and asked which, if any, came closest to their own view.

Table 11.1 shows that less than half of adults (46 per cent) viewed climate change as an immediate and urgent problem, whilst a quarter (25 per cent) considered that climate change was more of a problem for the future. Seven per cent of adults felt that climate change was not really a problem, and 13 per cent were still not convinced that climate change is happening.

Table 11.1: Perceived immediacy of the problem of climate change

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults
Climate change is an immediate and urgent problem 46
Climate change is more of a problem for the future 25
Climate change is not really a problem 7
I'm still not convinced that climate change is happening 13
No answer 3
Don't know 7
Total 100
Base 9,920

Views on the urgency of climate change are closely related to educational attainment. Six out of ten adults (60 per cent) with a degree or professional qualification said that climate change was an immediate and urgent problem, compared with 33 per cent of those with no qualifications (see Figure 11.1).

Figure 11.1: Perceived immediacy of the problem of climate change by highest level of qualification

2013 data, Adults (base (minimum): 830)

Figure 11.1: Perceived immediacy of the problem of climate change by highest level of qualification

Figure 11.2 shows that attitudes about the urgency of climate change as a problem varied across age groups, with the youngest and oldest adults least likely to consider it an urgent problem. Around four in ten (38 per cent) adults aged 16 to 24 and around three in ten (33 per cent) adults aged 75 and over took this view, compared with 46 per cent of all adults.

Figure 11.2: Perceived immediacy of the problem of climate change by age group

2013 data, Adults (base (minimum): 830)

Figure 11.2: Perceived immediacy of the problem of climate change by age group

Comparison with 2008 Scottish Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours Survey

Although the question about the immediacy and urgency of climate change has not previously been included in the SHS, the same question was asked in the 2008 Scottish Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours Survey (SEABS)[101]. This allows for some comparison of responses over time. However, it is important to note that differences between the two surveys[102] are likely to have some effect on the comparability of results (although the nature and extent of the effect is not known).

In the 2008 SEABS, 57 per cent of adults thought that climate change was an immediate and urgent problem, compared with the 2013 SHS figure of 46 per cent, a fall of 11 percentage points. In contrast, 13 per cent of adults in the 2008 SEABS considered either that climate change was not a problem or were not convinced it was happening, compared with 20 per cent of adults in the 2013 SHS, an increase of seven percentage points.

The relationships between attitudes on the urgency of climate change and respondent characteristics were very similar between the two surveys. In both there was a relationship with educational attainment and income, and the pattern of attitudes by age group was similar.

RECYCLING

Introduction and context

The Scottish Government's Zero Waste Plan[103] (2010) sets an agenda to transform the way in which waste is viewed and managed in Scotland – in line with a vision where all waste is seen as a resource. The plan sets a target to recycle at least 70 per cent of Scotland’s waste by 2025. Building on this, last year’s Safeguarding Scotland's Resources - Blueprint for a More Resource Efficient and Circular Economy[104] initiates a programme to reduce waste and deliver economic and environmental benefits.

To help achieve Scotland’s recycling targets, the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 require local authorities to provide separate household collections for recyclable materials. Outwith specified rural areas, this includes collection of food waste. Food collected for recycling can be processed to produce nutrient-rich fertilisers and biogas – a low carbon energy source. Scottish local authorities have made significant progress in rolling out collections, with support from Zero Waste Scotland (the Scottish Government’s delivery organisation for waste and resources). In June 2014, Zero Waste Scotland estimated that 56 per cent of Scottish households (1.3 million) had access to a food waste collection service[103].

Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government have also led initiatives to help people reduce unnecessary food waste (e.g. the Love Food Hate Waste and Greener Scotland campaigns), as well as to recycle food waste.

Previously, the SHS asked about recycling a range of items (e.g. paper, plastic bottles, metal cans, and glass bottles and jars). The percentage of households who recycled one or more of these items in the past month rose from 55 per cent to 89 per cent between 2003 and 2011. As the majority of households in Scotland were recycling these items, it was decided to discontinue this question and focus on food recycling. The SHS has asked about methods used to dispose of food waste since 2012. Respondents provide details on all methods used.

Food waste recycling

In 2013, around two-thirds (65 per cent) of households disposed of food waste in their general rubbish (see Figure 11.3), which is a decrease from 73 per cent in 2012. There was a corresponding increase in households making use of local authority-provided food caddies, from 26 per cent in 2012 to 37 per cent in 2013. Around one in ten Scottish households compost their food waste (9 per cent in 2013 and 10 per cent in 2012).

Figure 11.3: Methods used to dispose of food waste in the past week

2013 data, Households (base: 3,510)

Figure 11.3: Methods used to dispose of food waste in the past week

Percentages add to more than 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

There were differences in the methods households typically used to dispose of food waste depending on the type of accommodation they lived in, where they lived and who they lived with.

Table 11.2 shows that a larger percentage of households living in flats (78 per cent) put their food waste in the general rubbish compared to those living in houses (57 per cent) and to Scottish households overall (65 per cent). Correspondingly, a smaller percentage of those living in flats used a food-recycling caddy (25 per cent) or home composting (3 per cent) compared to others. This may reflect availability of space or facilities, including gardens, among households living in flats.

Table 11.2: Methods used to dispose of food waste in the past week by accommodation type

Percentages, 2013 data

Household House or bungalow Flat, maisonette or apartment Scotland
General waste with other rubbish 57 78 65
Local Authority-provided caddy or other receptacle 43 25 37
Home composting e.g. Heap in garden or allotment, green cone 12 3 9
Base 2,380 1,120 3,510

Percentages add to more than 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Table 11.3 shows that a quarter (25 per cent) of households in rural areas disposed of their food waste through home composting, which is significantly higher than in the rest of Scotland .

Table 11.3: Methods used to dispose of food waste in the past week by urban/rural classification

Percentages, 2013 data

Household Urban Rural All
General waste with other rubbish 66 58 65
Local Authority-provided caddy or other receptacle 38 34 37
Home composting e.g. Heap in garden or allotment, green cone 6 25 9
Base 2,770 360 3,510

Percentages add to more than 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Table 11.4 shows the methods used to dispose of food by household type. In 2013, single adult households were most likely out of all household types to dispose of their food waste in the general rubbish (74 per cent) and least likely to use a caddy (27 per cent). Large families, large adult households and smaller older adult households were most likely to use a caddy and least likely to use the general rubbish to dispose of food waste.

Table 11.4: Methods used to dispose of food waste in the past week by household type

Percentages, 2013 data

Household Single adult Small adult Single parent Small family Large family Large adult Older smaller Single pensioner All
General waste with other rubbish 74 68 66 66 59 60 53 65 65
Local Authority-provided caddy or other receptacle 27 37 36 37 43 42 43 37 37
Home composting e.g. Heap in garden or allotment, green cone 5 9 2 12 13 7 16 7 9
Base 630 530 200 410 220 330 600 580 3,510

Percentages add to more than 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

VISITS TO THE OUTDOORS AND LOCAL GREENSPACE

Introduction and context

Enjoyment of the outdoors brings people into closer contact with the natural environment. Outdoor recreation is associated with improved quality of life, including better health and wellbeing[105],[106]. The importance of getting outdoors is reflected in the National Indicator to ‘increase people’s use of Scotland’s outdoors’[107]. From 2014 this indicator is being measured using data from the SHS, replacing the Scottish Recreation Survey[108].

Responsibility for promoting visits to the outdoors is shared between Scottish Natural Heritage, local authorities and other agencies such as Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Park Authorities, while local authorities and National Park Authorities are responsible for developing core path networks in their areas. The Scottish Government encouraged people to make the most of Scotland’s outdoors by marketing 2013 as the ‘Year of Natural Scotland’. This initiative involved a programme of events aimed at inspiring people to experience and participate in Scotland’s natural heritage.

Increasing people's participation in physical activity is a priority of the Scottish Government. In 2014, the Scottish Government launched the National Physical Activity Implementation Plan[109], which provides the framework for delivering the active legacy ambitions for the Commonwealth Games. A key element in delivering this ten year plan is the National Walking Strategy[110], which was also launched in 2014. The approach to managing outdoor access in Scotland creates opportunities for physical activity through recreation and active travel. People have a right of access to most land and inland water in Scotland, for walking, cycling and other non-motorised activities.

This section starts by looking at key factors and characteristics associated with visits to Scotland's outdoors for leisure and recreation purposes. This is followed by an exploration of adults’ access to, and use of, greenspace in their local neighbourhood and their satisfaction with that greenspace.

Visits to the outdoors

This National Indicator is measured by the proportion of adults making one or more visits to the outdoors per week. Outdoor visits for leisure and recreation purposes includes both urban and countryside open spaces (for example, to parks, woodland, farmland, paths and beaches) and for a range of purposes (such as walking, running, cycling or kayaking).

Figure 11.4 shows that 46 per cent of Scottish adults visited Scotland's outdoors one or more times a week in 2013. This represents an increase from 2012 when the figure was 42 per cent (in both the SHS and the Scottish Recreation Survey). A further fifth of adults (20 per cent) visited the outdoors at least once a month in 2013. The proportion of adults who had never visited the outdoors fell from 20 per cent in 2012 to 16 per cent in 2013.

Figure 11.4: Frequency of visits to the outdoors

2013 data, Adults (base: 9,920)

Figure 11.4: Frequency of visits to the outdoors

There is substantial variation in the proportion of adults making visits to the outdoors by area deprivation (see Table 11.5). While 36 per cent of adults in the 20 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland visited the outdoors at least once a week, this is less than the 51 per cent of adults in the 20 per cent least deprived areas. Adults in the 20 per cent most deprived areas were more likely never to have visited the outdoors (24 per cent) compared to those in the 20 per cent least deprived areas (10 per cent).

Table 11.5: Frequency of visits made to the outdoors by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Quintiles

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults ←20% most deprived       20% least deprived→ Scotland
1 2 3 4 5
One or more times per week 36 42 49 51 51 46
At least once a month 19 18 20 21 23 20
At least once a year 20 19 17 16 16 18
Not at all 24 20 14 12 10 16
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 1,890 2,020 2,150 2,100 1,760 9,920

Table 11.6 shows visits to the outdoors by gender and age group. Men and women were just as likely to have visited the outdoors at least once a week in 2013 (47 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively).

Those aged 25 to 44 were the most frequent visitors to the outdoors (around half had visited the outdoors at least once a week), while adults aged 75 and over were the least likely to visit frequently (with 32 per cent making weekly visits to the outdoors). However, this represents an increase from 23 per cent in 2012. Around four in ten (39 per cent) adults aged 75 and over had not visited the outdoors at all in 2013, which is a decrease from 45 per cent in the previous year but significantly higher than all adults, overall.

Table 11.6: Frequency of visits made to the outdoors by age group and gender

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults Male Female 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60-74 75+ All
One or more times per week 47 45 46 51 50 47 45 32 46
At least once a month 21 20 20 23 26 20 17 12 20
At least once a year 17 18 19 16 17 19 17 17 18
Not at all 15 17 14 9 8 14 20 39 16
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 4,450 5,470 830 1,350 1,450 2,590 2,400 1,300 9,920

Local greenspace

Accessibility of outdoor recreation space is an important influence for its use, both in terms of its proximity to people's homes and physical access. Another important influence is how safe people feel in the greenspace. A number of Scottish local authorities are working to develop accessibility standards for their open space, in line with national planning guidance. In most cases, the accessibility standard is taken to be equivalent to a five minute walkto the nearest publicly usable open space[111].

It should be noted that in 2012 the wording of some of the SHS greenspace questions differed from those in 2011 and 2013, including the response options on the distance of a person's nearest local greenspace[112]. Following consultation with key stakeholders and data users, it was agreed that from 2013 the responses options on this question would return to asking about greenspace that is less than 5 minutes’ walk away. Greenspace is defined in the SHS as a park, green or other area of grass in the neighbourhood (but excludes private gardens).

Walking distance to local greenspace

Around two-thirds (68 per cent) of adults in Scotland had access to a useable local greenspace that is within a five minute walk from their home (Figure 11.5).

Figure 11.5: Walking distance to nearest greenspace

2013 data, Adults (base 9,920)

Figure 11.5: Walking distance to nearest greenspace

Table 11.7 shows that those living in more deprived areas tended to have further to travel to the nearest usable greenspace as six in ten (62 per cent) of those living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland had access to a useable greenspace within a five minute walk, compared to 69 per cent in the 20 per cent least deprived areas of Scotland.

Table 11.7: Walking distance to nearest greenspace by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Quintiles

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults ←20% most deprived       20% least deprived→ Scotland
1 2 3 4 5
A 5 minute walk or less 62 65 70 73 69 68
Within a 6-10 minute walk 21 22 17 15 19 19
11 minute walk or greater 15 12 12 11 12 12
Don't Know 2 2 1 2 1 1
All 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 1,890 2,020 2,150 2,100 1,760 9,920

Frequency of use of local greenspace

Figure 11.6 shows that over a third (36 per cent) of adults used their local greenspace either every day or several times a week. Around a quarter (24 per cent) of adults in Scotland did not use their local greenspace at all.

Figure 11.6: Frequency of using nearest greenspace

2013 data, Adults (base: 9,760)

Figure 11.6: Frequency of using nearest greenspace

Adults who live within a five minute walk from their local greenspace were more likely to use it than those who live further away (Table 11.8). Forty-four per cent of adults who live within a five minute walk from useable greenspace said they used it every day or several times a week, compared to 23 per cent who live a 6-10 minute walk away and 12 per cent who live 11 minutes’ or more walk away.

However, one in five (20 per cent) of adults living within a five minute walk from useable greenspace never used it. Those who live even further away were more likely to say that they did not use their nearest greenspace at all.

Table 11.8: Frequency of using nearest greenspace by walking distance

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults A 5 minute walk or less Within a 6-10 minute walk An 11 minute walk or more All
Every day/Several times a week 44 23 12 36
Once a week or less 36 50 48 40
Not at all 20 27 40 24
Total 100 100 100 100
Base 6,630 1,900 1,240 9,760

Table 11.9 shows that frequency of use of local greenspace differs by area deprivation levels. Three in ten (31 per cent) adults in the 20 per cent most deprived areas never used their local greenspace, compared to 18 per cent in the 20 per cent least deprived areas. Similarly, adults in the most deprived areas were less likely to use their local greenspace every day or several times a week compared with Scotland overall (31 per cent compared to 36 per cent).

Table 11.9: Frequency of using nearest greenspace by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Quintiles

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults ←20% most deprived       20% least deprived→ Scotland
1 2 3 4 5
Every day / Several times a week 31 31 39 42 37 36
Once a week or less 38 40 38 39 45 40
Not at all 31 29 23 19 18 24
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 1,890 2,020 2,150 2,100 1,760 9,920

Greenspace and health

Table 11.10 shows that adults who have a useable greenspace within a five minute walk from their home were more likely to say their health in general had been very good or good than those whose nearest useable greenspace was more than eleven minutes' walk away (77 per cent versus 69 per cent). It is not possible to say from this data the strength of influence of accessibility to greenspace on health, merely that there is an association. Scottish Government funded research found that green and open spaces contribute to public health and wellbeing, particularly mental health and wellbeing, but that the relationships are complex[113].

Table 11.10: Walking distance to nearest greenspace by self-perception of health

Row percentages, 2013 data

Adult Good/Very Good Fair Bad/Very Bad Total Base
A 5 minute walk or less 77 17 6 100 6,630
Within a 6-10 minute walk 71 20 8 100 1,890
An 11 minute walk or greater 69 20 11 100 1,240
All 74 18 7 100 9,920

Table 11.11 shows that those who use their local greenspace every day or several times a week were much more likely to say that their health in general is good or very good than those who did not use it at all (80 per cent versus 61 per cent). Similarly those who never used their local greenspace were far more likely than those who used it every day or several times a week to say their health was bad or very bad (15 per cent versus 4 per cent). It is not possible to say from this data whether using greenspace improves health or whether those who are healthy are more likely to use local greenspace or the extent to which poor health limits greenspace use.

Table 11.11: Frequency of using nearest greenspace by self-perception of health

Row percentages , 2013 data

Adults Good/Very Good Fair Bad/Very Bad Total Base
Every day/Several times a week 80 16 4 100 3,510
Once a week or less 78 17 5 100 3,820
Not at all 61 24 15 100 2,420
All 74 18 7 100 9,920

Rating of neighbourhood and satisfaction with local greenspaces

Chapter 4 shows how adult perceptions of their neighbourhoods as a place to live has changed over time. Table 11.12 shows there is an association between walking distance to greenspace and how adults rate their neighbourhood as a place to live. Seventy per cent of adults who rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live said they had access to useable greenspace within a five minute walk, compared to around half (48 per cent) of those rating their neighbourhood as very poor.

Table 11.12: Walking distance to nearest greenspace by rating of neighbourhood as place to live

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults Very good Fairly good Fairly poor Very poor All
A 5 minute walk or less 70 66 61 48 68
Within a 6-10 minute walk 18 20 20 27 19
An 11 minute walk or greater 11 13 16 21 12
Don't Know 2 1 2 4 1
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Base 5,740 3,630 380 150 9,900

Figure 11.7 shows that around three quarters (76 per cent) of adults were satisfied with their local greenspace in 2013, while 10 per cent were dissatisfied.

Figure 11.7: Satisfaction with local greenspaces

2013 data, Adults (base: 9,760)

Figure 11.7: Satusfaction with local greenspaces

There are differences in satisfaction with greenspaces when looking at area deprivation (Table 11.13). Around two-thirds (67 per cent) of adults in the 20 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland were satisfied with their local greenspace, compared to 82 per cent in the 20 per cent least deprived areas. Similarly, 16 per cent of adults in the 20 per cent most deprived areas reported that they were dissatisfied with their local green space, compared to only 6 per cent in the 20 per cent least deprived areas.

Table 11.13: Satisfaction with local greenspace by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation quintiles

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults ←20% most deprived       20% least deprived→ Scotland
1 2 3 4 5
Satisfied 67 70 77 81 82 76
Neither 10 11 7 8 8 8
Dissatisfied 16 12 10 7 6 10
No opinion 7 7 7 5 4 6
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 1,890 2,020 2,150 2,100 1,760 9,920

Contact

Email: Andrew Craik