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Motivations and Actions to Prevent Food Waste among Young Italian Consumers


  • Laura Bravi

    (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Saffi 42, 61029 Urbino, Italy)

  • Federica Murmura

    (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Saffi 42, 61029 Urbino, Italy)

  • Elisabetta Savelli

    (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Saffi 42, 61029 Urbino, Italy)

  • Elena Viganò

    (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Saffi 42, 61029 Urbino, Italy)


Food waste is a relevant global problem due to its consequences on food security, economy, and environmental sustainability. This study focuses, in detail, on finding the main motivation for food waste among the young and the principal actions to prevent it. The paper focuses on Italian reality, since Western countries are partly accountable for wasting large amounts of food. What is more, the focus has been shifted specifically on to the youths and young adults, as they are the portion of the population that are most inclined to waste food. Data were collected using a questionnaire survey performed on a sample of n = 904 Italian consumers. In line with previous research, the results of this study confirm that avoidable food waste comes from three main behavioural antecedents: over preparation, excessive purchase, and inappropriate conservation. The research shows that food waste cannot be reduced by just one-way from the consumers; rather, it goes both ways, between consumers and retailers. Therefore, only holding the consumers accountable and expecting them to solve it will not solve the problem of food waste; marketing and retailers should also consider ethics when it comes to food distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Bravi & Federica Murmura & Elisabetta Savelli & Elena Viganò, 2019. "Motivations and Actions to Prevent Food Waste among Young Italian Consumers," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(4), pages 1-23, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:4:p:1110-:d:207633

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rogério João Lunkes & Fabricia Silva da Rosa & Pamela Lattanzi, 2020. "The Effect of the Perceived Utility of a Management Control System with a Broad Scope on the Use of Food Waste Information and on Financial and Non-Financial Performances in Restaurants," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(15), pages 1-14, August.

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