From single-use to multi-use: Study of consumers' behavior toward consumption of reusable containers

J Environ Manage. 2017 May 15;193:334-344. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.060. Epub 2017 Feb 23.


This study advances the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to identify the mechanism that underlies the consumption of reusable containers. A questionnaire including context, motivation, subjective norms, attitudes, perceived behavioral control, intentions and behavior items was developed and pre-tested on 180 students in a Canadian and a Chinese university respectively. Subsequently, the questionnaire was implemented in the form of an online survey and 1221 effective responses were collected from Western (n = 549) and Asian (n = 672) consumers. The findings revealed that the context and motivation variables are important antecedents to several TPB constructs. Context strongly impacts perceived behavioral control and motivations as well as attitudes. Motivation is clearly distinct from intentions and has a significant influence on both attitudes and intentions. In addition to the standard variables of perceived behavioral control, subjective norms and attitudes, motivation does have a significant impact on intentions. Furthermore, there are cultural differences in the way context impacts intentions and behavior in that Asians (Westerners) are influenced by context to increase reusable containers consumption through motivation (attitudes). Attitude is a significantly stronger predictor of intentions for Westerners than Asians.

Keywords: Context; Culture; Intentions; Motivation; Reusable container consumption; Theory of planned behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Motivation
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Recycling
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires