Stage 3: Implementing and communicating waste prevention

Once you have identified which waste stream to target the next step is to “get to know” your audience, understand their issues, and how to target them effectively.

This section includes information on:

  • Household waste prevention behaviour change
  • Communicating waste prevention
  • Key stakeholders and partnership working
  • The Defra 4Es Behaviour Change Framework

Insight into waste prevention behaviours is evolving. UK research undertaken to help us understand peoples’ lifestyles, attitudes, values, habits, and motivations is helping to inform policies and strategies for household waste prevention. 

More information is available on people’s behaviours around food waste prevention.

Research indicates that there is a difference between encouraging recycling and the more complex behaviour change required for waste prevention. 

This research also indicates that each waste prevention behaviour is motivated by a different set of drivers and a plan for each activity is required to achieve a behaviour change. 

General messaging using a mix of waste prevention messages and/or a focus on reducing waste does not seem to be effective.

As household waste prevention comprises many activities you need to consider two important factors:

  • How “visible” is the waste prevention behaviour? 
  • Is it a “one-off” or “repetitive” behaviour? 

When addressing “ease of implementation”, you should consider how easy the behaviour is to adopt from these two factors.

There are a number of examples of programmes that are based on this theory: