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  • Persuasive_Conference_2020_Paper_Christina_Bremer

    Accepted author manuscript, 349 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 23/04/20

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Not (B)interested? Using Persuasive Technology to Promote Sustainable Household Recycling Behaviour

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Abstract

In many recycling systems around the world, waste is separated at the source. Their success therefore depends on an active participation of households. However, especially young people have been found to not consistently follow their local recycling schemes. A promising approach to tackle such suboptimal household recycling behaviour (HRB) is the use of persuasive technology. While existing studies have highlighted its potential, they also commonly relied on waste container augmentation. To better understand the requirements of augmentation-independent HRB-related persuasive technology, a two-phase study was carried out with young adults in Sweden. First, an online survey (N=50) was used to establish the target users' recycling-related problems, attitudes, and interests. Then, based on the survey results, a mobile phone application was designed and evaluated in an iterative manner. This led to the following design recommendations: (1) easy access to information about optimal household recycling behaviour, (2) employment of several motivational strategies, (3) recognition of recycling scheme differences, (4) regard of users as equals, and (5) use of a readily accessible technology channel. The technological format of persuasive technology interventions was found to spark the users' curiosity. Within a well-functioning recycling system, and along with engaging content, it could encourage repeated use and elicit reflection to help break unsustainable household recycling habits.