Cash is King in Plastic Recycling - An Experimental Study on How Monetary Incentives Impact Individual Motivation for Plastic Recycling
Sammanfattning: This study aims to research, through an experimental study, how monetary incentives impact individual motivation for household plastic recycling. Sweden has one of the world's highest rates of plastic waste recycling. However, a large discrepancy exists between the recycling rates of PET bottles and non-PET bottle plastics, being 83 % respectively 42 % in 2018. The main difference between the two is that the recycling of the former is monetarily incentivised whilst the latter is not. The experiment, which was conducted through an online questionnaire with 352 respondents in Sweden, tested how different amounts of the monetary incentive impact people's motivation to recycle. Individual recycling behaviour is examined through the framework of the MARS Model, where we emphasise the motivational impact of monetary incentives through the Self-Determination Theory, Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory and McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y. Our findings prove that a monetary incentive has a positive impact on individual recycling behaviour. Additionally, we found that this impact differs due to different behavioural factors, such as existing recycling behaviours. However, a similar effect could not be found due to ability and situational factors. Nonetheless, we also found that people who are extrinsically-motivated will over time internalise the act of recycling, which diminishes the need and impact of the monetary incentive. Hence, this study contributes with an indication of the most suitable waste management style for leaders, policy-makers and recycling systems, based on people's different sources of individual motivation for recycling.
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