What predicts household waste management behaviors? Culture and type of behavior as moderators

Keren Kaplan Mintz, Laura Henn, Joonha Park, Jenny Kurman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study seeks to examine the factors predicting waste management behaviors— recycling (difficult and easy) and waste minimization—based on social norms and environmental orientation in a cross-cultural context. A survey conducted among 401 university students from Japan, Germany and Israel included measures of social norms for recycling and minimization, biospheric value orientation, environmental concern (NEP), and waste management behaviors. Results showed that difficult recycling was lower than the other two behaviors, and that household waste management behaviors were higher among Germans than among the other two groups. The relative contribution of environmental orientation to waste management behavior was generally weaker in Japan than in Germany and Israel. Social norms significantly predicted easy recycling and minimization in all three groups, and difficult recycling only in Germany and Israel. Social norms were a stronger predictor of easy recycling among Israelis than among Japanese. The research results imply that both structural contexts and cultural factors influence the extent to which people engage in recycling and waste minimization. The results highlight the importance of integrating cultural considerations into waste management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work of Dr. Keren Kaplan Mintz was supported by a post-doctoral scholarship given by the University of Haifa . The work of the Israeli team was supported by Israel Institute, Washington D.C. , grant No. 20005 . Appendix A

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Cross-cultural differences
  • Environmental orientation
  • Minimization
  • Recycling
  • Social norms
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics


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