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A meta-analysis of factors related to recycling

Geiger, Josefine L., Steg, Linda, van der Werff, Ellen, Ünal, A. Berfu
Journal of environmental psychology 2019 v.64 pp. 78-97
attitudes and opinions, meta-analysis, ownership, psychology, recycling
The current meta-analysis aimed to identify the most important factors related to recycling across studies. A random-effects meta-analysis of studies on individual and household recycling (n = 91) revealed that both individual and contextual factors are related to recycling. Among individual factors, behaviour-specific factors (i.e., recycling self-identity, personal norms towards recycling, past recycling, and perceived behavioural control over recycling) were better predictors of recycling than general factors (i.e., general knowledge, general attitudes, general personal norm). Among contextual factors, the possession of a bin at home and house ownership were particularly predictive of recycling. Moreover, individual and contextual factors better predicted intention to recycle than self-reported recycling behaviour, and particularly than observed recycling behaviour. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings. We indicate that future studies could more systematically examine the effects of contextual factors on recycling, as well as the interplay of individual and contextual factors.