The Assessment of the Internet's Influence on Household Reuse Behaviour

Coram, Rachel (2012) The Assessment of the Internet's Influence on Household Reuse Behaviour. [Dissertation]

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Waste is a growing global problem, especially with increasing population. There is need to reduce this waste in order to meet a zero waste economy. However, the UK has too much focus on recycling which is near the bottom of the EU Waste Directive’s waste hierarchy. The UK wants to encourage reuse. To encourage household pro‐environmental behaviours barriers must be removed. An increased amount of
households are gaining access to the internet. Websites such as eBay and Freecycle allow second‐hand items to be traded online. Therefore, the internet brings an opportunity for people to reuse items, diverting them from landfills. This study aims to assess the internet’s influence on household reuse behaviours. In addition to this, the study looks at the other important objectives such as the internet’s effect on offline outlets (e.g. charity shops) which also trade second‐hand items. The aims and objectives are carried out by using both a postal and online questionnaire which is randomly send to households.
The main findings suggest that the internet has influenced household reuse behaviour and has increased reuse in the UK. However, reuse behaviours when buying and selling second‐hand items online was mainly driven by financial incentives rather than environmentally driven reuse behaviour.

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