Understanding public support for recycling policy: To unveil the political side of influence and implications

Calvin Wan, Qiping Shen, Stella Choi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Policy support from the public is gaining importance for successful implementation of environmental policy. Yet the underlying factors of policy support for environmental policy have not been comprehensively examined. While considerable number of studies offered explanation of the phenomenon from the perspective of environmental psychology and social psychology, the growing attention to political factors has not been adequately addressed. In light of this, the present study systematically identified political factors and integrated them with psychological attributes to build a conceptual model for investigating level of policy support for recycling policy. A random household telephone survey was conducted in Hong Kong. 504 valid responses were collected for model testing. The results suggested that although psychological attributes, attitude and perceived benefits, are significant in predicting recycling policy support, political factors are stronger predictors, which perceived policy effectiveness, policy fairness, policy preference, and participatory process demonstrated a significant effect on the level of policy support. In addition, the explanatory power of the conceptual model remarkably increased after political factors were added to the model. The model enables us to compare effects of different sources on the level of policy support, in turn, advances our understanding of the phenomenon. In addition to shaping positive attitude towards recycling and enhancing perceived benefits of recycling practices among the public, policy-makers should put more efforts in formulating a fair, responsive recycling policy that demonstrates capability of policy goal attainment. Public involvement during policy formulation stage is also highly encouraged for mobilizing greater public support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Environmental policy
  • Hong Kong
  • Public support
  • Waste management
  • Waste recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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