What motivates households recycling behaviour in recycling schemes of different maturity? Lessons from Lithuania and Sweden

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Abstract

This study analyses the determinants of household recycling behaviour in a recycling system at an early stage of development
(Lithuania) and compares them with those of a more mature recycling scheme (Sweden). The analysis builds on the empirics from household surveys and focuses on four fractions of household packaging waste. Several similarities within the two recycling schemes were found, including convenience, norm-based motivators, and the interactions between such factors. The analysis tested and confirmed the so-called ABC Hypothesis of moral norms being less important as motivators to recycle when it is easy and convenient to collect packaging waste, e.g. when kerbside collection is in place. One important difference between the two schemes was that social norms were found to be important for source sorting in the early-stage recycling system but not in the mature recycling system. This suggests not only that more effort should be devoted to shaping social norms that facilitate household recycling behaviour when collection systems are launched, but also that the focus should be on moral norms when the convenience factors in waste management
schemes are still underdeveloped.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Anthropology

Keywords

  • recycling behaviour, waste prevention
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-52
JournalResources, Conservation & Recycling
Volume113
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes