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

  • Jurate Miliute-Plepiene
  • Olle Hage
  • Andrius Plepys
  • Algirdas Reipas Reipas
Publishing year: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 40-52
Publication/Series: Resources, Conservation & Recycling
Volume: 113
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

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.


  • Social Anthropology
  • recycling behaviour
  • waste prevention


  • ISSN: 0921-3449
  • RECYCL-D-16-00196
Andrius Plepys
E-mail: andrius [dot] plepys [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Visiting Address: Tegnérsplatsen 4,Lund

Telephone: + 46 46 222 00 00 Fax: + 46 46 222 02 10