Does gender matter? Attitude towards waste charging policy and pro-environmental behaviours

Tai Ming Wut, Peggy Ng, Hing Ki Mike Kan, Chiu Samuel Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: A waste charging policy had been implemented in major Asian cities like Taipei and Seoul years ago. Hong Kong is not yet to charge household rubbish, which is one of the major municipal solid waste sources. Landfill places will be exhausted in a year or two in the city. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of waste charging policies by exploring relationships among social norms, lifestyles, attitudes towards waste charging policy and pro-environmental behaviour. Design/methodology/approach: Purposeful sampling was used in this study to recruit university students to take part in the survey. Purposeful sampling helps to make a “highly credible sample” (Gall et al., 2006, p.185). This study distributed questionnaires to respondents aged over 18 years. Among them, there were 404 valid questionnaires (35.6% male; 64.4% female) that were returned with a response rate of 53.9%. Findings: It is found that attitude towards waste charging policies affects pro-environmental behaviour through lifestyles and social norms. Female respondents’ pro-environmental behaviours are affected by their lifestyles and social norms. But male respondents’ lifestyle is affected by their attitude towards policy. Attitude towards charging policy does not have an impact on young people's pro-environmental behaviours. Originality/value: Social acceptance towards any environmental policy is a must for its final outcome. It is because attitude towards any environmental policy is a starting point to affect pro-environmental behaviours. Female respondents are more engaged in pro-environmental behaviour compared to male. Almost all big cities encourage the re-use, re-cycle and reduce of waste. Before designing and implementing relevant policy, stakeholder participation is important. The new environmental policy usually has stricter measures, such as heavier charge on municipal waste. Policymakers are advised to obtain solid arguments and data support to convince stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1115
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Responsibility Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2021


  • Attitude towards waste charging policy
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Pro-environmental behaviour
  • The theory of reasoned action
  • Waste charging policy


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