How to enhance the sustainable disposal of harmful products

Diletta Acuti, Giampaolo Viglia, Linda Lemarie

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2 Citations (SciVal)
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The effectiveness of sustainable disposable schemes remains an unsolved issue for policy-makers. This paper investigates the factors that can enhance consumers' ability to dispose of potentially harmful products sustainably. In a field experiment we demonstrate that the physical proximity to a drop-off point enhances the sustainability of consumer disposal of harmful products. We show that the influence of proximity on disposal behaviour is magnified if the consequences of disposal are described using metaphors. An online experiment complements these findings by showing that processing fluency – the ease to process information - is the mechanism behind this effect. These results provide practical implications for policy-makers and managers who want to enhance sustainable disposal of harmful products, underlying the critical importance of the simplicity of the disposal initiatives and the need to strategically place drop-off bins throughout the city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages12
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

The authors are thankful to Fondazione CRT (grant ID: 75531) for their financial support and to the not-for-profit organization Andromeda.


  • Sustainable disposal
  • Harmful waste
  • Proximity
  • Metaphor
  • Numbers
  • Information description


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