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Open AccessArticle

Exploring Domestic Precycling Behavior: A Social Identity Perspective

Center for Technology and Society, Technische Universität Berlin, 10553 Berlin, Germany
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Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031321
Received: 18 December 2020 / Revised: 18 January 2021 / Accepted: 22 January 2021 / Published: 27 January 2021
Increasing amounts of disposable food packaging waste are contributing towards a global environmental crisis, and approaches to successfully preventing such waste—called precycling—are urgently needed. The human ability to define oneself as a member of a group (social identity) may represent a powerful source for realizing environmental endeavors. Therefore, in this article we conceptualize precycling behavior in households as pro-environmental behavior embedded in social identity processes. To explore precycling, we combined food diaries and qualitative virtual interviews with 26 households in Berlin, Germany. We analyzed our data based on the Social Identity Model of Pro-Environmental Action (SIMPEA). Starting from the behavioral element of the model (response), we substantiate the concept of precycling suggesting that it can be distinguished into six types of behavior. Furthermore, we propose that the enactment of these precycling behaviors is shaped by social identity processes and social influence in different groups, including: the household itself, neighbors, family and friends, or food collectives. We conclude that these processes are important to realizing precycling in small and private groups as well as in larger collectives. Implications are derived for empirical research and theoretical development as well as for public programs and intervention studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: precycling; packaging prevention; pro-environmental behavior; social identity; SIMPEA; households; waste crisis precycling; packaging prevention; pro-environmental behavior; social identity; SIMPEA; households; waste crisis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wenzel, K.; Süßbauer, E. Exploring Domestic Precycling Behavior: A Social Identity Perspective. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1321. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031321

AMA Style

Wenzel K, Süßbauer E. Exploring Domestic Precycling Behavior: A Social Identity Perspective. Sustainability. 2021; 13(3):1321. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031321

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wenzel, Klara; Süßbauer, Elisabeth. 2021. "Exploring Domestic Precycling Behavior: A Social Identity Perspective" Sustainability 13, no. 3: 1321. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031321

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