Several Factors that Affect Consumers

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Behavioural factors

The theory of reciprocal determinism suggests that behaviour is not only an end result, but also a predicting variable. The present study tries to find out how recycling participation facilitates green purchase behaviour.

Recycling participation.

Recycling participation is a form of sustainable consumption behaviour. It represents consumers’ conservative behaviour which is a form of environmental behaviour (Bezzina and Dimech, 2011; Paço et al., 2013). The impact of recycling behaviour on consumers’ green purchase behaviour is largely unexplored and only a few researches have studied this issue (Nittala, 2014; Paço et al., 2013). Previous studies found that consumers’ recycle behaviour positively impact on their sustainable consumption behaviour (Lee, 2014) and green purchasing behaviour (Nittala, 2014).

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Personal factors

Existing literature mentions that environmental knowledge and attitude of consumers are positively related with their green consumption behaviour (Mostafa, 2006; Tanner and WölfingKast, 2003; Young et al., 2010). A key objective of the present study is to find out the relationship that consumers’ perceived environmental knowledge and consumers’ attitude towards green purchases share with consumers’ green purchase behaviour.

Attitude towards green purchasing.

Attitude towards green purchasing refers to consumers’ cognitive evaluation of green purchase behaviour. It is developed through an individual’s cognitive and rational judgment of the value of green purchasing efforts (Lee, 2008). Various studies observing the association between consumers’ ecological attitude and green purchase behaviour have reported somewhat mixed results; while majority of the studies found a positive relation (Kozar and Connell, 2013; Mostafa, 2006; Tanner and WölfingKast, 2003) between the two, a few revealed a weak relationship or no relationship at all (e.g. Eze and Ndubisi, 2013).

Perceived environmental knowledge.

This refers to consumers’ perceived knowledge of ecological issues and ways to address these issues. Previous studies on ecological knowledge have given mixed results. A few studies have shown a non-significant relationship between ecological knowledge and behaviour (Bang et al., 2000; Wolsink, 2007) whereas others have reported that a higher level of ecological knowledge is necessary for taking suitable action towards environmental protection. Further, consumers with higher environmental knowledge are more inclined to show environmentally responsible behaviour (Mostafa, 2006; Suki, 2013). Several studies specifically found that consumers’ environmental knowledge positively affected green purchase behaviour (Mostafa, 2006; Young et al., 2010).

Sociocultural factors

Sociocultural factors influence people’s thinking and decision making (Lee, 2014). Theinfluence of sociocultural factors on people’s sustainable consumption is an issue that has not received much research attention. Consumer socialization theory ( John, 1999) suggests that mass media (Moschis, 1987; O’Guinn and Shrum, 1997) and social groups (Dotson and Hyatt, 2000; Moschis, 1987) are major socializing agents among young consumers. Also, ecolabelling was found to build consumer confidence in green products, thus encouraging green product purchasing (Bougherara and Piguet, 2009; Rahbar and Wahid, 2011).

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