Identifying motivations and barriers to minimising household food waste

Graham-Rowe, Ella, Jessop, Donna C and Sparks, Paul (2014) Identifying motivations and barriers to minimising household food waste. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 84. pp. 15-23. ISSN 0921-3449

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The amount of food discarded by UK households is substantial and, to a large extent, avoidable. Furthermore, such food waste has serious environmental consequences. If household food waste reduction initiatives are to be successful they will need to be informed by people's motivations and barriers to minimising household food waste. This paper reports a qualitative study of the thoughts, feelings and experiences of 15 UK household food purchasers, based on semi-structured interviews. Two core categories of motives to minimise household food waste were identified: (1) waste concerns and (2) doing the ‘right’ thing. A third core category illustrated the importance of food management skills in empowering people to keep household food waste to a minimum. Four core categories of barriers to minimising food waste were also identified: (1) a ‘good’ provider identity; (2) minimising inconvenience; (3) lack of priority; and (4) exemption from responsibility. The wish to avoid experiencing negative emotions (such as guilt, frustration, annoyance, embarrassment or regret) underpinned both the motivations and the barriers to minimising food waste. Findings thus reveal potentially conflicting personal goals which may hinder existing food waste reduction attempts.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology
Depositing User: Ella Graham-Rowe
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2014 10:19
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 01:45

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