Determinants of consumers’ reusing, refurbishing and recycling of computer waste behaviour: An exploratory study in Malaysia

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Paul H.P. Yeow
Wee Hong Loo


Computer waste can pose environmental and health threats if not properly disposed through reusing, refurbishing and recycling (3R) options. In developing countries like Malaysia, the enforcement of Environment Quality Regulation for computer waste is limited to corporate and not individual consumers, thus, the collection rate among individual consumers is very low (5%). The research question is how to encourage individual consumers to reuse, refurbish and recycle computer waste (3RCW). The objectives are to discover the factors influencing individual consumers to 3RCW and to provide recommendations to the government on how to encourage such behaviours.  Hypotheses were developed based on new factors added to the original Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) i.e. environmental knowledge, collectivism, positive individual consequences (PIC), environmental concerns, self-identity, and habits. A questionnaire was developed based on these factors and data was collected and analysed using hierarchical regression. The results showed collectivism, PIC and self-identity are new antecedents in addition to the existing attitudes and perceived behavioral control. The theoretical contribution is a more accurate model of 3RCWB with higher variance explained. The practical implication is the results provide insight to government on how to convince individual consumers to 3RCW e.g. focusing of collectivistic social messages and enhancing existing regulations and infrastructure.

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