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Household Waste Prevention Evidence Review - WR1204

Defra’s Waste and Resources Evidence Programme (WREP) is now entering its fifth year of providing, interpreting, analysing and disseminating research and wider waste and resources evidence. In the early years, household waste prevention was highlighted as a particular area of focus because there was a significant gap in evidence to underpin policy making in this area.

Since that time, WREP has commissioned a comprehensive portfolio of research projects exploring household waste prevention and waste-related behaviour. The scope varied from understanding consumer behaviour in relation to household waste prevention, through evaluating how different initiatives work in practice, to the development of technical solutions. Most of these projects are now either complete or are in the course of completion. A list of these projects can be found at

A synthesis review has been commissioned by Defra`s WREP to draw together the findings from this research and those of related evidence work commissioned elsewhere in Defra, by WRAP, the Environment Agency and others. The key aim is to provide an accurate and up-to-date picture of existing policy-relevant evidence about waste prevention and associated pro-environmental behaviour in the UK. Brook Lyndhurst (lead contractor), The Social Marketing Practice and the Resource Recovery Forum have been commissioned to undertake this project.

The outputs from the review have been organised into a series of modules that allow for the evidence to be accessed at three different levels of detail, and different packages, depending on the interests of the reader. Before accessing individual documents generated by this review, the reader should first open the `guide to reading the reports` document to gain an overview of the different modules and their titles. The structure is an acknowledgement that not all readers will be interested in all of the material. The intention is that users can drill down from the executive level reports (L1 m0 and L1 m1) to the particular detail of interest. The level 2 modules, entitled `Overview`, are synthesis reports which cover different aspects of Waste Prevention and group the research under various topic headings. These level 2 modules are supported by level 3 documents; `concise briefing notes` which provide short, technical briefs on specific topics, and `detailed briefing notes` which offer more in-depth insight. An extensive bibliography is included in the document list (L3 m8/2) as a record of all the research accessed and reviewed in this study.
The objectives of the research are:

1. To undertake a comprehensive literature review of existing evidence in order to provide an up to date picture of existing policy-relevant evidence on waste prevention in the UK.

2. To work closely with policy and a wide network of stakeholders to ensure expert input to the research, analysis and policy development process.

3. To undertake in-depth analysis of up to 50 sources of literature against a robust analytical framework.

4. To provide a series of tailored, policy-relevant reports and briefings that synthesise existing evidence, the gaps, future priorities, the role of stakeholders and conclusions and recommendations.
Project Documents
• Final Report : WR1204 “Household Waste Prevention Evidence Review” – Technical Report (L2 m1)   (2229k)
• Final Report : WR1204 “Household Waste Prevention Evidence Review” – Executive Report (L1 m1)   (838k)
• Abstract : WR1204 Guide to reading reports   (151k)
• Executive Summary : WR1204 “Household Waste Prevention Evidence Review” – Executive summary (L1 m0)   (232k)
• Other : WR1204 Approach & method of the review (L3 m1)   (1123k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Attitudes & behaviour – Bulky waste and reuse” (L3 m3/6)   (367k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Attitudes & behaviour – everyday actions around the home” (L3 m3/7)   (424k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Attitudes & behaviour – food waste” (L3 m3/4)   (383k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Attitudes & behaviour – home composting” (L3 m3/5)   (392k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Consumer segmentation” (L3 m3/8)   (432k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Future scope for a waste prevention network” (L3 m7/2)   (316k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Future waste growth, modelling & decoupling” (L3 m5/1)   (363k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Small group approaches to behaviour change” (L3 m3/9)   (411k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (concise): “Waste prevention evidence map” (L3 m8/1)   (443k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (detailed): "International Review" (L3 m5/2)   (1536k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (detailed): “Approaches to monitoring & evaluation” (L3 m6/1)   (517k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (detailed): “Extent to which WP behaviours are practised” (L3 m3/1)   (866k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (detailed): “Impacts of public campaigns & interventions (L3 m3/3)   (626k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (detailed): “Motivations & Barriers” (L3 m3/2)   (977k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (detailed): “Stakeholder views on waste prevention” (L3 m7/1)   (670k)
• Other : WR1204 Briefing Note (detailed): “Waste prevention bibliography” (L3 m8/2)   (333k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Engaging Consumers” (L2 m3)   (595k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Evidence gaps & signposts” (L2 m8)   (398k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Monitoring & evaluation” (L2 m6)   (412k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Policy context” (L2 m2)   (430k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Policy measures” (L2 m5)   (631k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Product service systems” (L2 m4/3)   (309k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Retail solutions – refillables & self dispensing systems” (L2 m4/2)   (325k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Reuse & the third sector” (L2 m4/1)   (437k)
• Other : WR1204 Overview: “Stakeholder engagement feedback (L2 m7)   (441k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2008

To: 2009

Cost: £157,875
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Brook Lyndhurst
Behaviour change              
Decision Support              
Effective household waste prevention              
Environmental Protection              
Food Waste              
Overarching Issues/Stakeholder Forums              
Social Dimension              
Social Research              
Social Sciences              
Sustainable Consumption and Production              
Waste Management              
Fields of Study
Waste Management