Plastic-free UCC: exploring societal and marketing levers

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dc.contributor.advisor Byrne, Edmond en
dc.contributor.advisor O'Neill, Claire en
dc.contributor.advisor Dunphy, Niall en
dc.contributor.advisor Mullally, Gerard en
dc.contributor.advisor Kirrane, Maria en
dc.contributor.author Hughes, Aoife
dc.date.accessioned 2021-09-08T15:28:06Z
dc.date.available 2021-09-08T15:28:06Z
dc.date.issued 2020-12
dc.date.submitted 2020-12
dc.identifier.citation Hughes, A. 2020. Plastic-free UCC: exploring societal and marketing levers. MRes Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 244 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11852
dc.description.abstract Plastic pollution is a visible symbol of the increasingly urgent environmental issues facing our world. Single-use plastic packaging comprises about half of plastic waste produced, much of which is used briefly before disposal (UNEP 2018). Meanwhile only approximately 9% of all plastic generated by 2015 were recycled (Geyer et al. 2017). Such figures highlight an entrenched and unhealthy reliance on single-use plastic (SUP) within the current dominant social paradigm which promotes unsustainable levels of growth in consumption and disposal. This research examines how sustainable practices can be facilitated and supported within University College Cork to transition away from SUP. This was done using a mixed method approach of surveys and interviews to examine how stakeholders and community members navigated sustainable behaviour and what barriers they encountered. The research highlights the persistence of cost, availability of alternatives, personal preferences and unsustainable defaults as barriers to sustainable consumption. Infrastructure also influenced behaviour with a lack of supporting infrastructure limiting the adoption of sustainable alternatives. The attitude-behaviour gap also emerged as a barrier to behaviour change re-affirming the need for systemic change rather than relying on individuals to drive changes. The research shows the importance of those in leadership roles prioritising sustainability and the importance of sustainable champions to drive middle-out change in behaviours and policies. Finally, the research highlights the need for stakeholder involvement and collaboration to sustain sustainability initiatives and for their feedback to be used to adapt initiatives. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2020, Aoife Hughes. en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ en
dc.subject Single-use plastic en
dc.subject Sustainability en
dc.subject Higher education en
dc.subject Plastic en
dc.title Plastic-free UCC: exploring societal and marketing levers en
dc.type Masters thesis (Research) en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en
dc.type.qualificationname MSc - Master of Science en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.contributor.funder University College Cork en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Management and Marketing en
dc.internal.conferring Autumn 2021 en
dc.internal.ricu Cleaner Production Promotion Unit en
dc.internal.ricu Environmental Research Institute (ERI) en
dc.relation.project University College Cork (UCC Green Campus Living Laboratory Seed Fund) en
dc.availability.bitstream openaccess


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© 2020, Aoife Hughes. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2020, Aoife Hughes.
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