Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Reframing recycling behaviour through consumers' perceptions: an exploratory investigation.

Oke, Adekunle; McDonald, Seonaidh; Korobilis-Magas, Evagelos; Osobajo, Oluyomi A.; Awuzie, Bankole Osita


Adekunle Oke

Seonaidh McDonald

Bankole Osita Awuzie


Despite the increasing awareness of the consequences of waste, there is no consensus on how and why consumers engage in recycling, making it challenging to design behavioural interventions that might promote recycling, especially in organisational settings. This study is designed to explain consumers' recycling behaviour and how it differs across contexts, particularly between home and work settings. Using personal accounts of 367 employees from different organisations in the UK, this study explores recycling behaviour at home and work including its motivations and barriers. The findings show that recycling behaviour is different across contexts due to many disparate factors underlying people's waste generation and recycling behaviours from one context to another. According to the findings, buying and consumption behaviour and waste generation patterns influence the way consumers engage in recycling. The study further demonstrates that contextual factors and individual circumstances are important contributors to consumption behaviour, waste production, and recycling behaviour. While recycling behaviour has been investigated extensively, the findings of this study indicate the need for consumption and waste production patterns to be taken into consideration when designing recycling interventions, enhancing the prospect of a circular economy. This study contributes to theory and practice by associating recycling behaviour with buying and consumption behaviour, including waste generation patterns.


OKE, A., MCDONALD, S., KOROBILIS-MAGAS, E., OSOBAJO, O.A. and AWUZIE, B.O. 2021. Reframing recycling behaviour through consumers' perceptions: an exploratory investigation. Sustainability [online], 13(24), article number 13849. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 7, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 15, 2021
Publication Date Dec 31, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 15, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 15, 2021
Journal Sustainability
Electronic ISSN 2071-1050
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 24
Article Number 13849
Keywords Recycling; Recycling behaviour; Waste management; Environmental attitudes; Green consumerism; Circular economies; Accountability; Consumption patterns; Control; Facilities; Home and work; Personal circumstances; Responsibility
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations