The role of training and education in enhancing citizen’s responsible recycling behaviour: a review and insights from a technology research program.

Catégorie : Politiques et Réglementations
Date :17 septembre 2020
Ponis, S. T.
14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (Inted2020) : 2526–2531.
Plastic marine littering is undoubtedly a global problem, which becomes even more severe every day, as millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans creating a series of environmental, economic, health and also, aesthetic problems, with the last ones being severely damaging for the tourism industry, which is one of the most important industries for the Greek economy. The works of this paper are part of a technology research project aiming to develop an Innovative Tracking System for Monitoring Plastic Packaging Waste to Mitigate Marine Littering. The ultimate objective is to propose solutions and a roadmap including preventive measures for avoiding or diverging plastic waste from the sea, thus reducing marine littering. An integral part, that is expected to play a significant role in the success of the project, is that of technology acceptance by the public sector officials and municipalities, who are the key stakeholders of the project, and the positive change of citizens’ recycling behaviour. In that direction, increasing public participation and improving the behaviour of citizens towards a sustainable and circular economy waste management practice is an utmost priority. As a solution, in addition to offering economic incentives to responsible recyclers, authorities and public bodies are also introducing recycling programs including promotional events, awareness activities and, last but not least, training and education sessions. This paper will conduct a review of the current state-of-the art, looking into existing education and training activities for enhancing citizen’s responsible recycling behaviour, will present insights from an ongoing research program on the acceptance of the proposed project’s technology and provide suggestions on how public officials and personnel training can increase the adoption rate of similar projects, thus enhancing research impact and mitigating the plastic marine littering problem as a whole.