The Race against Waste is a current battle facing all nations of the world in the current climate of environmental concern and attempted conservation of materials. Household waste in particular has been cited as a main component in the reduction of general waste for export and landfills. A number of theoretical approaches and research methods have previously been employed to investigate this topic, yet none in recent years in and in an Irish setting.
This research investigated the behaviour and attitudes of consumers in Ireland. The research was conducted through the surveying of 1,000 consumers, followed by data and textual analysis in order to achieve a number of objectives to fulfill current literature gaps by contributing new knowledge to an important and current topic. The piece sought to decipher the current stance on environmental concern, recycling and segregation habits, the perception of information available to consumers and the accessibility of facilities and services. The stance on environmental benefits versus costs to consumers was investigated as well as idea generation for recycling and segregation maximisation by households.
Findings suggest that although the vast majority of householders are now active recyclers, consumers are lacking in information, education, facilities and services. Respondents of this study have shown their recycling behaviour is driven by environmental concern, rather than monetary incentives. Recommendations include an overhaul by regulatory bodies in order to fulfill European Union mandated targets to reduce general waste production and increase the recovery of valuable recyclable materials. Author Keywords: Irish consumers, waste, recycling, segregation, attitudes and behaviours