Background: Plastic waste is a major societal and environmental issue contributing to climate change as well as affecting the health of humans and animals across the globe. Tackling plastic pollution requires dramatic change from everyone because one of the key factors contributing to the amount of plastic waste is consumer behaviour. Objective: The aim of this research is to test the predictive power of the goal-striving reasons framework for plastic waste behaviour of UK households to analyse whether the reasons why people voluntarily engage in plastic reducing actions can predict plastic consumption of households. Method: The predictive power of the goal-striving reasons framework was tested by correlating the overall goal-striving reasons index and, each goal of the six goal-striving reasons individually, with i) a newly developed self-report measure of plastic consumption and; ii) with an objective measure of plastic waste. The objective measure required households to count their plastic waste for three consecutive weeks. The study is based on N = 66 households in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Results: Findings suggest that the approach goal-striving reasons of pleasure, altruism and positive consequences are related to self-reported plastic waste whereas the two avoidance reasons of not wanting to feel bad about oneself or to avoid any negative consequences are related to objective plastic waste. Conclusion: The findings of this study highlight the relevance of the goal-striving reasons framework as an important concept for the prediction of plastic waste behaviour of individuals, and as a potential tool for facilitating change behaviour in household plastic waste consumption.
Oxford Brookes Business School
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-05-10