Redefining Circularity Awareness within Household Waste Separation: The Role of Social Nudges and Life Cycle Thinking in Longitudinal Interventions

Main Presenter:    Machmuddin Miftahadi 

Co-Authors:   Indriyani Rachman     Toru Matsumoto                                          

Manifesting awareness of waste circularity at the individual level relies on the action of separation. However, within one’s household, which forms a starting point of daily consumption patterns, often misbehave to maximize waste utility and lifespan. This study explores individual awareness in household waste separation, focusing on organic kitchen waste, plastic packaging, and wood pulp material. To assess separation success and failure, we collected participant self-evaluation R-ladder circularity process, consist of: (1) refuse, (2) rethink, (3) reduce, (4) reuse, (5) repair, (6) refurbish, (7) remanufacture, (8) repurpose, (9) recycle, and (10) recover energy. We proposed awareness improvement by conducting randomized trial intervention integrating social nudge (personal and descriptive norm) and life cycle thinking (environmental and economic consequences) across 17 profiles in 10 replications continuously in 3–6-week experiment. To extend the causality of awareness, respondent
attributes such as cognitive reflection, behavioral commitment, general understanding, and spillover effect are being measured. Our key findings underlined that separation involves deliberate awareness from the whole life cycle impact. Besides, social nudges proved as a blocking mechanism to alter undesired mix disposal behavior. This research opens further possibilities to understand awareness deeper in psychological perspective.

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