Cases in Consumer Behaviour

By Gerrit Antonides; W. Fred Van Raaij | Go to book overview

4
ATTITUDES TOWARDS
RECYCLING OF
HOUSEHOLD WASTE

Maria Piacentini University of Strathclyde


4.1 A potential business opportunity

Over the last 10–15 years, recycling of household waste has become increasingly important. Recycling rates by European countries are growing at very different levels. In Germany, 40% of plastic packaging is being recovered from small enterprises and private households. This contrasts with the UK, where only 5% of plastic waste was recycled in 1993.1

While government policy differs across Europe, which clearly influences the recycling behaviour for countries, there are attitudinal and motivational barriers to recycling, acting at an individual level. Concerns about convenience have been shown to have a strong influence over whether recycling occurs or not.2

Beth Robson, a business studies graduate with a keen interest in environmental issues, read about this in a special report in the newspaper. She recognized a potential business opportunity. It seemed obvious to her that there was scope for a potentially lucrative business related to some aspect of household recycling. All she had to do was work out some way of alleviating the inconvenience people associated with recycling.

Beth decided that a door-to-door recycling service may be a profitable way to get people to recycle. She believed that households would be willing to pay a small fee to have their waste collected on a weekly basis, from outside their home. Beth discussed this idea with a few friends, who were very receptive, reinforcing Beth's views that this was indeed a good

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