The Behavioral Economics of Recycling

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Posted November 4, 2016

Recent research conducted at Harvard University suggests that, as individuals, our recycling habits are greatly influenced by unconscious preconceptions or bias’s about or towards an item.  For instance, people are prone to recycle items that remain whole or undamaged, and conversely, more inclined to toss an item if it has been damaged or changed in some way.

Researchers observed people were more likely, to dispose of an aluminum can in the garbage if the can was dented or crushed.  People were also, more likely, to recycle an item if they felt they had a personal connection to it.  For example, if the item had their name written on it or was marked with the logo of a school or group that the person was associated with.  To learn more follow the link below.

 

https://hbr.org/2016/10/the-behavioral-economics-of-recycling