Identifying motivations and barriers to minimising household food waste
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 16:53 authored by Ella Graham-Rowe, Donna JessopDonna Jessop, Paul Sparks
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.
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Department affiliated with
- Psychology Publications
Full text available