From intention to action: How do personal attitudes, facilities accessibility, and government stimulus matter for household waste sorting?

Bin Zhang, Kee hung Lai, Bo Wang, Zhaohua Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


There is a notable discrepancy between intention on household waste sorting and the actions taken to support this environmental initiative among residents in China. This study aims to explore the influences of personal attitudes, facilities accessibility, and government stimulus on this discrepancy. Built on an integrated framework of Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and Norm Activation Model (NAM), this study examines the relationship between intention and household waste sorting behaviour considering the psychological behavioural antecedents and circumstantial constraints among Chinese residents. Results from a questionnaire survey administered in China confirm the discrepancy, and show that the link between intention and behaviour on waste sorting is weakened after adding the influencing paths from the factors of facilities accessibility and government stimulus to waste sorting behaviour: however, the presence of these two factors directly promote waste sorting behaviour, but do not moderate the intention-behaviour relationship as their interaction items with behavioural intention are not significantly related to waste sorting behaviour. Furthermore, the personal norm is found to be the major factor influencing intentions of Chinese residents towards waste sorting while both subjective norms and perceived behavioural control were unexpectedly found to have no significant influence thereon. These findings are useful for promotion and planning of waste sorting by policy-makers to ease the waste disposal problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-458
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Facilities accessibility
  • Government stimulus
  • Personal norm
  • Waste recycling
  • Waste sorting behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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