WIT Press


‘WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!’: QUALITATIVE INSIGHTS INTO CONSUMER FOOD WASTE BEHAVIOUR

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/WM180281

Volume

231

Pages

12

Page Range

297 - 308

Published

2019

Author(s)

MIHAELA BISHOP, PHIL MEGICKS

Abstract

Food waste is generated in large amounts across the food chain, ensuring serious environmental, social and economic consequences. Although consumers are the single biggest contributors, little is known about the drivers of food waste in households. This study utilises a qualitative approach to explore attitudes and beliefs towards food waste, identify associations between personal psychological factors and behaviour and establish consumer knowledge, understanding and awareness of food waste. Thematic analysis enabled further consideration of the attitude, normative and control beliefs in relation to household food waste behaviour. Findings suggest that all the dimensions of attitudinal beliefs have, to a greater or lesser extent, relevance to deeper understanding of behaviour in this context together with the moral and environmental implications of domestic food waste. The study provides additional theoretical insights into how people behave in relation to wasting food in their own homes. The findings can be taken into account in terms of influencing policy and marketing communications aimed at changing individual wasteful behaviour. Additionally, this research contributes to understanding of proenvironmental and moral values in relation to global sustainability concerns, as well as establish the level of consumer knowledge, understanding and awareness of food waste.

Keywords

household food waste, attitudes, behaviour, pro-environmental concern, moral identity, domestic food planning