Movinga, a relocation specialist, released a study revealing the collective misconception that we face as a society when it comes to accumulation and waste. As part of a larger study of resettlement trends to be released later this year, Movinga conducted a survey among 18,000 household heads in 20 countries, comparing the perceptions of a person with the amount of what he owns.

The results of the research show that people are not able to objectively perceive their own role in global problems of excessive consumption and waste generation. Movinga hopes that this research will raise the level of consciousness and cause discussion about how we can contribute to reducing the amount of waste.

Finn Age Hänsel, managing director of Movinga, said: “When the oceans become increasingly contaminated with plastic, and the fast-fashion industry has reached an unprecedented scale, it’s time to start making people wonder if they really need more things.”

Among the questions asked during the survey were: “What percentage of your wardrobe did you not carry during the last 12 months?” What percentage of the products you bought in the end is thrown away? Then the answers were compared with the World Bank data and the results of academic research.

The study showed that Russia was the most realistic country in which the level of error was the lowest: the difference between people’s perceptions and research data is minimal. Regarding things from the wardrobe, the answers were 47%, and the results of the study showed 53%, i.e. the difference is 6%. As for the percentage of discarded products, Russians estimated them at 5%, other studies – at 6%, i.e. the difference is only 1%.

The highest level of discrepancy in the number of discarded products was found in Switzerland. The Swiss think that they throw out 5% of the products, but in reality it is 18%. In Denmark, on the contrary, the Danes think that they throw out 10% of the food they buy, but in reality it is only 4%.

In the US, the highest level of food waste – 24% of the purchased products. As for things they do not wear for 12 months, Americans believe that this is about 43% of their wardrobe, and in fact 82%.

The biggest difference in the assessments of their wardrobe was shown by the Belgians: they think that they did not wear 26% of their wardrobe over the past year, but the real figure is 88%.