Generation patterns and consumer behavior of single-use plastic towards plastic-free university campuses

Chemosphere. 2021 Nov 24;133059. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.133059. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

This study was conducted to estimate the generation of single-use plastics (SUPs) and elucidate consumer behavior towards a plastic-free university. The results show that the consumption rate of plastic bottles was the highest at 1.39 g per student per day (g.s-1.d-1), followed by plastic cups (0.20 g s-1.d-1), and plastic bags (0.14 g s-1.d-1). Approximately 94.41% of students were highly aware of the negative impacts of SUPs. More than four-fifths of the students (82.32%) assumed that they were responsible for the SUP pollution issue, whereas 59.52% considered SUP reduction (or lack thereof) by individuals, governments, and producers/businesses be important factors. Approximately 19.03% of the students supported implementing a high fine, one-tenth agreed for a total ban on SUPs, while nearly one-fifth believed reducing SUP consumption was unnecessary. Strategies for plastic-free universities was initiated by establishing the goal of "plastic-free university" and implementing integrated actions including a ban (plastic cups and bags) awareness-raising, and suitable alternatives.

Keywords: Consumer behavior; Plastic consumption; Plastic waste; Plastic-free university; Single-use plastic.