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Browsing by Subject "online communication"

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  • Joukainen, Nella (2022)
    Continuous development of urban areas poses challenges for sustainable use of resources and the management of complex waste streams. Recycling is seen as a solution for promoting sustainability, especially at the individual-level where waste sorting creates preconditions for successful material recovery operations. Behavior change strategies aim to encourage individuals to implement recycling practices in their daily lives. The effectiveness of behavior change strategies is achieved by broadly influencing capability, opportunity, and motivation to recycle, however, studies claim that many existing strategies are unable to do so. This study aims to gain an understanding in how extensively a municipal recycling service provider’s online communication on social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube) enhances capability, opportunity, and motivation to recycle by communicating about means to overcome recycling barriers. Specifically, the study is interested in examining what types of recycling barriers are addressed in online communication and through which means it aims to deliver assistance for overcoming these barriers. Lastly, this study aims to explore the role of social media platform-based online communication as a channel to promote individual recycling behavior. This study focuses on social media materials published by a municipal service provider in the European Green Capital of 2021. The empirical material builds on a set of data collected from public and locatable online sources. The analysis includes 96 different types (pictural, textual, video) of recycling-themed online content. The data was analyzed by conducting qualitative content analysis. The results indicated that online communication addresses a broad range of recycling barriers. The most common means to overcome these was information provision through which the company aimed to increase knowledge and understanding of recycling practices. Although information provision alone is claimed to be insufficient to profoundly change behavior, results showed that it could serve as a means to generate a broad influence on areas behind behavior formation. The result of this study suggests that social media platforms as channels for online communication have the potential to create preconditions for overcoming recycling barriers especially through the means of information provision. The development of more profound recycling behavior, however, needs to include a broader range of collaborative information, motivation, and engagement elements that could engage and encourage people to implement more profound recycling behavior. This calls for future research that discovers means to stimulate behavior formation widely to support overcoming recycling barriers and the implementation of profound recycling behavior in everyday lives.