The role of social media on recycling behaviour

The role of social media on recycling behaviour

Journal Pre-proof The role of social media on recycling behaviour Sujata Muniandy, Khor Kuan-Siew, Ramayah Thurasamy, Teoh Ai Ping PII: DOI: Referenc...

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Journal Pre-proof The role of social media on recycling behaviour Sujata Muniandy, Khor Kuan-Siew, Ramayah Thurasamy, Teoh Ai Ping

PII: DOI: Reference:

S2352-5509(19)30004-1 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2019.08.005 SPC 262

To appear in:

Sustainable Production and Consumption

Received date : 2 January 2019 Revised date : 9 August 2019 Accepted date : 9 August 2019 Please cite this article as: S. Muniandy, K. Kuan-Siew, R. Thurasamy et al., The role of social media on recycling behaviour. Sustainable Production and Consumption (2019), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2019.08.005. This is a PDF file of an article that has undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the addition of a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability, but it is not yet the definitive version of record. This version will undergo additional copyediting, typesetting and review before it is published in its final form, but we are providing this version to give early visibility of the article. Please note that, during the production process, errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.

© 2019 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Journal Pre-proof The Role of Social Media on Recycling Behaviour

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Sujata, Muniandy* Graduate School of Business, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. E-mail: [email protected]

Khor, Kuan-Siew* Sunway University Business School, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. E-mail: [email protected]

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Ramayah, Thurasamy School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. E-mail: [email protected]

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Teoh, Ai Ping School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract

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* Corresponding Author

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This study examined determinants of recycling intention behaviour among the general public in Penang, specifically attitude, social norms, social media and self-efficacy, and investigated the moderating role of governmental and non-governmental organisation (NGO) in translating recycling intention to actual recycling behaviour. With reference to the Integrated Behaviour Theory and Theory of Reasoned Action, the survey instrument was distributed and 233 samples were analysed using variance-based structural equation modelling approach. Attitude and self1

Journal Pre-proof efficacy appeared to be strong predictors, whereas social norm and social media, to a lesser degree, predicted recycling intention. While the support from NGOs in promoting recycling activities appeared to be advantageous to the materialisation of recycling intention behaviour, the results also showed that governmental support appeared to exert no moderating effect on

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the relationship under study. In short, recycling behaviour among the wider community can be cultivated through the influence of social media and NGOs intervention.

Keyword: Recycling, Attitude, Social media usage, Integrated Behaviour Model

Introduction

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1.

Developing countries all over the world, including Malaysia, have been challenged to manage

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solid waste effectively by developing efficiency in collection, recycling, treatment and disposal mechanism. Managing the exponential growth of waste is cost-intensive but indeed necessary to contain the adverse effects of environmental hazards, if left unmanaged, would lead to

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pollution and natural disasters. Abushammala et al. (2011) and Lapinski and Rimal (2005) pointed out that waste increases in tandem with population growth. Population growth and industrial revolution are often kept close to parallel with one another, and they fuelled the throwaway culture indirectly, where consumer demands for newer and better things. Indeed, the present society experiences consistent economic development and an improved standard of

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living. Consequently, these benefits come at the expense of overloaded landfill due to the rising volume of trash generated daily (Budhiarta, Siwar, & Basri, 2012). The past decades have witnessed the evolution of mass communication channels, where digital transformation has relieved traditional mass media with regards to searching, sharing and discussing information. Social media, powered by the Internet and mobile technology, has 2

Journal Pre-proof become instrumental in connecting individuals with a common interest from all walks of life, also known as netizens within the virtual environment. Social media sites are being used for various social causes such as civic engagement (Warren, Sulaiman, & Jaafar, 2015) environmental activities (Park & Yang, 2012), political activism (Valenzuela, 2013) and

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stakeholder communication (Wattanacharoensil & Schuckert, 2015). As of December 2017, the penetration rate of Facebook users among Malaysian who has access to the Internet is 87.7%, and that is approximately 22 million accounts (Internet World Stats, 2019). While past studies have examined the role of social media for multiple social causes such as reduction in food waste (Young, Russell, Robinson, et al., 2017) green purchasing (Trivedi, Patel, &

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Acharya, 2018), pro-environmental actions (Wamuyu, 2018), there were only few studies that looked into recycling intention and behaviour among the general public. This study aimed to contribute to the current literature by explaining the influence of social media and the extent it

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could possibly lead or encourage recycling intention.

Up to recently, local environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have also started

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playing their role in the effort to recycle for example EcoKnights; an environmental NGO has started annual awareness and empowerment program in the month of Ramadhan to educate Malaysians on the need to reduce the usage of plastic bags in food bazaars around the country. The campaign called Green Ramadhan also aims to educate the public on the importance of reducing food wastage from homes. EcoKnights also reinforced its on-ground efforts with the

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launching of its social media campaign encouraging netizens to tweet, Instagram and Facebook their recycle bags and food containers. Despite the launch of The National Recycling Programme in the year 2000 and National Strategic Plan for Solid Waste Management (2000-2020)’ in the year 2005, it appeared that Malaysia is hardly on track in materialising the envisioned target of 22% recycling rate by the 3

Journal Pre-proof year 2020. Moh and Abd Manaf (2017) echoed the importance of continuous commitment by the government and private sector to counter the challenges of recycling, particularly in the inculcation of source separation and recycling habit among the general public. We extended the study beyond recycling intention, where we test the effects of non-governmental

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organisation (NGO) and government as moderators in materialising actual recycling behaviour. This research will add to the streams of works in waste management and advocate the role of NGO and government to progressively change the public’s behaviour towards better

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environmental consciousness and protection.

Past studies

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Traditionally, attitude has been seen as an unwavering nature responding consistently towards favourable or unfavourable manner of a psychological object. Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) had termed attitude as a function of an individual’s belief towards a behaviour. With sufficient

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motivation and cognitive capacity, attitude can be triggered by retrieval of beliefs deliberately done in real-time or online as new information becomes available (Ajzen, 2011). Taylor and Todd (1995) implied that when individuals have a positive attitude, they are more likely to behave favourably. Present findings echo past studies that recycling attitude seemed to be a significant contributor and positively influences recycling intention and behaviour (Amini,

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Ahmad, & Ambali, 2014; Mutang & Haron, 2012; Ramayah, Lee, & Lim, 2012; Ramayah & Rahbar, 2013).

Perceived norm, the other component of Integrated Behaviour Theory is composed of descriptive and injunctive norms (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2011; Huffman et al., 2014; Lapinski &

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Journal Pre-proof Rimal, 2005; Thomas & Sharp, 2013). Descriptive norm refers to one’s perception of what other people are doing while the injunctive norm is the perception of what ought to be done. Subjective norm or social pressure is seen as a function of the perceived expectations by other individuals or groups who are important or close to a person, and that person’s motivation to

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comply with these expectations (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975; Fishbein & Ajzen, 2011). Although there are considerable studies in the past that supported positive association between social norm and behavioural intention (Oskamp et al., 1991; Ramayah et al., 2012; Sidique, Lupi, & Joshi, 2010), Knussen et al. (2004) claimed that it did not make a significant contribution to recycling intention. Generally, Malaysia is a collectivist society which maintains some degree

role in influencing people’s behaviour.

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of interdependence among fellow members of their group. Social pressure plays an essential

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Ajzen (1991, 2002) viewed perceived behaviour control (PBC) to be indifferent with Bandura (1977) concept of perceived self-efficacy as both are concerned with the perceived ability to perform a behaviour. Studies by Bandura (1977, 1991) revealed that self-efficacy belief

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influences choice and preparation of activities, efforts, thoughts and emotional reaction, thus referring it as people’s belief in one’s capabilities to perform required actions. Ajzen (2002) distinctively cleared the ambiguities posed by several researchers and acknowledges that the use of PBC term may have been misleading as both PBC and self-efficacy are concerned with perceived ability to perform the behaviour. He further implies that PBC in the Theory of

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Planned Behaviour (TPB) should contain both instruments that evaluate self-efficacy and controllability.

Social media is a useful communication tool of the digital age to connect people with a common interest. Social media facilitates knowledge sharing because Internet users utilise the new

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Journal Pre-proof media to develop ideas, collaborate with other like-minded individuals and disseminate information across like-minded individuals across online communities. Web 2.0 technologies play an influential role to nurture an individual’s acceptance towards environmentally friendly behaviour (Ballew, Omoto, & Winter, 2015; Wamuyu, 2018). As of March 2019, the number

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of global Internet users has reached 4.38 billion worldwide, an increment of 1114% since the year 2000 (Internet World Stats, 2019). There are 25.1 million Internet users among Malaysians, a sharp increase compared to the year 2000, which only saw 3.7 million users. According to the Internet Users Survey 2017, published by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (2018), the smartphone appeared to be the most popular mean to

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access to the Internet. The report showed that the most frequented social networking applications are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google +, Twitter and LinkedIn, whereas the most popular communication applications are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat,

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Telegram, Skype, Line and Kakao Talk. People are interacting daily across multiple social media platform, making it an ideal setting to study how this form of communication may facilitate the adoption of environmentally conscious behaviour. McKenzie-Mohr (2000) has

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proven that social interaction tends to have a significant impact on the environmental behaviours of individuals. Additionally, Oakley and Salam (2014) pointed out that information technology induces one’s awareness and considerations towards the environmental impact of purchasing and consumption habits. Although one of the most effective methods to protect the environment involve stringent enforcement towards recycling domestic waste, Moh and Manaf

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(2014) reiterated that we should not minuscule the effect of promoting recycling efforts through media such as television, radio, Internet sources and billboards.

NGO is one of the primary actors in the governance of social and economic affair (Lloyd, 2005). The United Nations (UN), through Chapter 27 of the Agenda 21 (1992) proclaimed that,

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Journal Pre-proof “The UN system, including international finance and development agencies, and all intergovernmental organizations and forums should, in consultation with non-governmental organizations, take measures to enhance existing or, where they do not exist, establish mechanisms and procedures within each agency to draw on the expertise and views of non-

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governmental organizations in policy and program design, implementation and evaluation”. This declaration highlighted that non-state actors’ involvement is critical to achieving sustainable development goals. According to Khelghat-Doost, Sanusi, and Jegatesen (2011), NGOs are independent of the government, thus making them a suitable agent to address social

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and environmental issues.

Apart from the informal institution, Siddique, Kaur, and Rajor (2010) indicated that regulations could be an effective means to encourage recycling. Many studies have proven that rate of

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recycling may or have increased with the enactment of recycling ordinances (Cao et al., 2016; Ogiri et al., 2019; Ramanathan et al., 2017; Zheng et al., 2017) and it is only a matter of time for residential recycling to become mandatory to every household. This is where the

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moderating role of government intervention takes effect, as regulator and legislators to facilitate recycling intention behaviour relationship by encouraging people to materialise the intention to recycle. Social and institutional barriers such as the lack of efficacy, lack of facilities and encouragement, prevent people from becoming environmentally proactive (Blake, 1999). Fundamentally, failing to prioritise on the developing recycling infrastructure

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to make recycling convenient discourages people, even if they are willing to engage in proenvironmental behaviours.

Past studies found that the intention predicts behaviour well when the intention is stable and vice versa (Sheeran, 2002; Sheeran & Abraham, 2003). Sheeran (2002) had also called for

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Journal Pre-proof further studies to understand the mechanism underlining intention–behaviour gap. It is therefore unavoidable to establish the link from intention to actual behaviour. If the relation is found to be weak, then necessary steps must be taken to reinforce the link. Timlett and Williams (2011) acknowledged that in order to attain a desired sustainable urban environment, behaviour

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changes must include not only the consumers or end-users but also institutions and manufacturers. Thus policymakers must consider the potential of intervention such as providing financial incentives for recycling initiative as a move towards inculcating recycling

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not only among individuals but also among the producers.

Research framework and research hypotheses

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The research framework for this study is presented in Figure 1. Limited studies examined the influence of social media on recycling intention, and we would like to fill this gap along with other determinants of intention such as attitude, social norm and self-efficacy. Subsequently,

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we would investigate the moderating role of two stakeholders, namely government and NGO in explaining the strength of the relationship between recycling intention and actual recycling behaviour.

Urban householders appeared to have a positive attitude towards recycling intention (Amini et

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al., 2014; Mutang & Haron, 2012). Sheeran, Norman, and Orbell (1999) clarified that attitudinal (autonomous) controlled intentions are likely to perform better than normative controlled intention behaviours. Change in lifestyle creates uncertainty, and some people may be reluctant towards a lesser convenient approach in the disposal of their wastes. They may profess the right attitude towards environmental protection, but may not try hard enough to

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Journal Pre-proof recycle out of sheer laziness (Trudel, 2019). Hence it is imperative to determine the influence of attitude on the behavioural intention that could be useful for policymakers in devising the right education, communication or awareness intervention. Therefore, the following hypothesis

H1:

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is proposed:

Attitude has a positive effect on recycling intention.

Studies in the field of social psychology have shown that social norms have the ability to affect individual’s behaviour (Schultz, Khazian, & Zaleski, 2008). Agents of socialisation, such as

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family and peers, are essential influencers that encourage youngsters and people in general to adopt typical values, norms, attitude and behaviours (Lee, 2011). This idea is consistent with Young and Jordan (2013), who stated that people’s intention to engage in a particular behaviour

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is often influenced by the extent to which they perceive other people (peers) engage or endorse a given behaviour. Self-categorization Theory posited that the self could be categorized at various levels of abstraction. In other words, humans may categorize the self as a singular “I”

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(personal identity), or as a more inclusive “we” (social identity) and it is argued that it is this variation in self-categorization that underpins many intergroup phenomena, including those described in Social Identity Theory (Turner & Oakes, 1986). Social identity is the portion of an individual's self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group (Turner & Oakes, 1986). Based on the above two theories, it can be concluded that social group

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norms will shape the behaviour of an individual. Therefore, the following hypothesis is developed: H2:

Social norm has a positive effect on recycling intention.

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Journal Pre-proof Although there are limited literature on the effects of new media, exhaustive empirical works have substantiated the effects of television (old media) in predicting environment orientation (individual beliefs and feelings) (Holbert, Kwak, & Shah, 2003). Several theories, such as Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986), Cultivation Theory (Gerbner et al., 2002) have

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substantiated the role of communication in disseminating norms to a social group. Moreover, Warren et al. (2015) stated that there are limited studies on the role of social media given its vast ability and opportunity to disseminate social causes through digital means. Only a handful of studies addressed its role as a communication instrument to influence behavioural change (Grainger & Stewart, 2017; Young, Russell, & Barkemeyer, 2017) and even fewer studies

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examined the said role in engaging environmental protection behaviour. Despite the popularity of the growing digital media platform, as a social mobilisation tool for direct action, there is a little examination of its use in advancing climate change or environmental planning discourse

Social media usage has a positive effect on recycling intention.

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H3:

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and action (Senbel, Ngo, & Blair, 2014). Thus, the following hypothesis was proposed.

Past studies identified self-efficacy and control to be the most crucial variable in predicting behavioural intention (Park & Yang, 2012; Wan, Cheung, & Shen, 2012). Chu and Chiu (2003) claimed that most individuals, including those with a low level of environmental concern, may

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engage in recycling activities provided that access to recycling programmes, infrastructure and facilities are made available. Thus, the following hypothesis was developed.

H4:

Self-efficacy has a positive effect on recycling intention.

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The government works alongside with NGO, also considered a critical arbitrating agent, to drive the communities’ involvement in fulfilling the objectives of environmental protection (Agarwal, 2008). NGO often represents the view of the public, especially those in areas where

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the local government are weaker in the implementation of an environmental action plan. Since the urban community is used to the throwaway culture, it should not come as surprising that that members of the community feel challenged to break the stubborn habit of careless waste disposal. Although not everyone shies away from recycling, NGO acts as a communication bridge to convey opinion and suggestions to the respective local and national authority. They

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provide constructive criticism to mobilise public opinion and influence the public through campaigns and outreach programs (Gemmill & Bamidele-Izu, 2002). Shekdar (2009) and Agarwal (2008) reiterated the vital role of NGO at inducing the public to involve in source

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separation schemes. Therefore, the following hypothesis proposed the role of NGO in explaining recycling-intention behaviour.

The positive effect between recycling intention and recycling behaviour will be stronger

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H5:

when the role of NGO is higher.

Regulations are one of them, if not the most effective means to increase the rate of recycling

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(Khor et al., 2016; Sidique et al., 2010). Naturally, the rate of recycling would increase with the enactment of recycling ordinances, which makes residential recycling mandatory. This is where the government’s moderating role is vital, as a regulatory agency, to impose requirements and secure compliance or enforcement, to materialise nationwide acceptance towards recycling. Koontz et al. (2010) described that regulatory role, mandate and guidelines

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Journal Pre-proof are intertwined and have influenced some desirable environmental and social outcomes. For instance, Fayyad (2017) showed that government role exerts moderating effects on the relationship between media coverage and environmental awareness. Action-oriented behaviour such as recycling is not a standalone initiative, and it requires producers to exercise extended

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responsibilities to recover reusable material, components, parts and subassemblies. However, the source separation and recycling is considered a cost centre and effort beyond the purview of consumers may prevent the growth of landfill waste. Therefore, it is imperative to observe whether government-led interventions can deliver societal changes through collaborative

H6:

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governance. Hence the following hypotheses were developed.

The positive effect between recycling intention and recycling behaviour will be

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stronger when the role of government is higher.

The Theory of Planned Behavior suggests that an individual’s intention to perform a particular behaviour is the immediate determinant of that specific behaviour (Ajzen,1991). Past studies

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have found that the intention predicts behaviour well when the intention is stable and vice versa (Sheeran et al., 1999; Sheeran & Abraham, 2003; Wan et al., 2014; Ma et al., 2018). In a recent study on recycling behaviour in Pakistan by Khan et al. (2019) confirmed that intention is positively related to the actual behaviour of reselling, reusing, donating and disposal

H7:

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behaviours. Hence the following hypotheses are developed:

Intention has a positive effect on recycling behaviour.

- Insert Figure 1: Research Framework –

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4.

Method

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The study was conducted among the general public in Penang, Malaysia. Data was collected using an online questionnaire which was distributed to the public through the various webbased communication channel, including emails, social media and mobile chat services. A nonprobability sampling technique was used to gather 233 valid respondents. This study examined the recycling intention and predictors of intention (attitude, social norm, social media usage,

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self-efficacy), as well as the moderators of intention behaviour, specifically NGO and government. Five-point Likert-type scale is used to measure the above components, whereas the seven-point scale measured respondents’ recycling behaviour. The varying length of the

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scale was intentional to treat common method variance, in pertinence to the consistency of the scale property (Podsakoff et al., 2003). The questions were adapted from various earlier studies

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Results

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(refer to Appendix A) and solicited a range of demographic information (refer to Table 1).

The measurement and structural models of the study were assessed using variance-based structural equation modelling. The SmartPLS Version 3.0 software assists users in predicting

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the endogenous latent variable by maximising the amount of variance explained by the exogenous latent constructs within the model. This study is interested in both the outer model, which observes whether the indicators reflect the construct studied and the inner model, which observes the relationship between latent constructs. The measurement model will be examined

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Journal Pre-proof for convergent and discriminant validity, followed by structural path analyses to access the hypotheses proposed in the previous section.

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Profile of the respondents

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Table 1 presents the demographic profile of respondents such as gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, educational qualification, employment status, monthly income, number of years in recycling, number of hours spent on the Internet and social media, and most frequently used

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social media.

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Measurement model

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- Insert Table 1: Demographic Profile -

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The standardised root mean square residual (SRMR) criterion is applied to assess the goodness of model fit, where the average magnitude of discrepancies between observed and expected correlations should be less than 0.10 to indicate a good fit. The SRMR criterion for the present study is 0.079, suggesting that the reflective measurement model is valid. The item loadings, average variance extracted (AVE) and composite reliability (CR) for all the latent variables are

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presented in Table 2. Convergent validity indicates the degree to which a latent construct explains the variance of its indicators. The measurement model has convergent validity because the AVE value exceeded the recommended value of 0.5 (Bagozzi & Yi, 1988; Hair et al., 2016; Peng & Lai, 2012), between 0.578 and 0.782. A few items with outer loading lower than the recommended threshold of 0.7 were deleted to increase the AVE and CR values, such as SLF7,

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Journal Pre-proof SLF8, GOV3, GOV4, RCB4, RCB7 and RCB9. On the other hand, SLF1 is retained despite loading below 0.7 because the deletion would not increase the AVE significantly, and it was retained in the interest of content validity. One of the two NGO items were deleted and this variable became a single-item construct. The construct can be considered reliable if the value

reliability within the range of 0.826 and 0.930.

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of composite reliability is greater than the 0.8 (Chin, 2010). All the latent variables established

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- Insert Table 2: Convergent Validity -

Subsequently, discriminant validity was used to ascertain that constructs are distinct from other

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constructs (Hair et al., 2016). This study established discriminant validity based on Fornell and Larcker’s (1981) suggestion, where the square root of AVE of each construct should be larger than inter-construct correlations, as seen in the off-diagonal elements in Table 3. Therefore, the

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proposed research model demonstrated adequate internal consistency, convergent and discriminant validity.

5.2

Structural model

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The structural model assessment proceeds with hypotheses testing. Bootstrapping resampling technique is applied to determine the significance of structural path coefficients, where 10,000 bootstrap samples were redrawn from the original sample of 233 cases. Table 4 and Figure 2 presented the results of the analysis.

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- Insert Table 3: Hypothesis testing (Direct effects) -

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The results shown in Table 4 supported all the hypothesis of the direct effect model. The independent variables are positive and significant predictors of recycling intention, with attitude (β = 0.302, p < 0.01), social norm (β = 0.168, p < 0.01), social media usage (β = 0.085, p < 0.05) and self-efficacy (β = 0.315, p < 0.01). Next, we look into the intention behaviour relationship and it appeared that intention positively affects recycling behaviour (β = 0.525, p

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< 0.01).

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- Insert Figure 2: Structural model (Direct effect) -

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The effect size, f2 reflects the explanatory power of the model (Hair et al., 2016), where effect size of 0.26, 0.13, and 0.02 suggest that the exogenous latent variable exerts substantial, moderate and weak effect, respectively, in predicting the endogenous latent variable (Cohen, 1988). The value varies in accordance with the complexity of the model as well as the discipline of research. Attitude and self-efficacy appeared to be stronger predictors, whereas social norm

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and social media usage contribute weak to almost no effect on the structural model understudy, with f² being 0.037 and 0.011. Overall, the explained variance, R2 for behavioural intention is 0.421, indicating that 42.1 percent of the variance in recycling intention can be explained by attitude, social norm, social media usage and self-efficacy. The R2 from behavioural intention to recycling behaviour was 37.2 percent.

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We continue with the predictive relevance assessment of the structural model based on StoneGeisser’s, Q2 value, derived through the application of blindfolding technique on endogenous construct with reflective measurement model specification (Hair et al., 2016). The sample size

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for this study was 233 and omission distance (D) of 6 was applied for blindfolding technique. Chin (2010) recommended that D could be any number between 5 to 10 as long as the sample size divided by D does not equal to round figures. Hair et al. (2016) recommended the crossvalidated redundancy approach as the calculation considered both the structural model and measurement model to derive the predictive relevance of the model, Q2 value. For this study,

relevance of the model understudy.

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Figure 2 reported a Q2 value of 0.214, a value larger than zero, thus substantiating the predictive

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Next, Table 5 presented the results of the moderating effect of both NGO and government’s role in recycling intention-behaviour relationship. NGO appeared to exert significant coefficient (β = -0.076, p < 0.050), where f2 value of 0.009 denoted that NGO’s role put forth

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small effect size, suggesting that future studies should examine this construct with more reliable items. On the contrary, the situation appeared reversed under the influence of the government’s intervention as the interaction term did not show significant coefficient (β = 0.048). These results showed that the materialisation of recycling intention-behaviour is affected by NGO intervention and we have to examine the post hoc graph (refer to Figure 3) to

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visualise the strength of the path of interest under low or high intervention.

- Insert Table 5: Hypothesis testing (Moderating effects) -

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Journal Pre-proof With reference to Figure 4, the interaction effect showed positive recycling intention-behaviour and the strength of the relationship is better when NGO takes the role of a change agent to

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increase the commitment towards recycling among the general public.

- Insert Figure 3: Post Hoc Graph -

Discussion

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Attitude, social norm, social media usage and self-efficacy are significant predictors of recycling intention. Attitude is found to have a significant impact on behavioural intention of

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recycling. The result was consistent with previous studies, such as Botetzagias, Dima, and Malesios (2015), Wan et al. (2012) and Largo-Wight, Bian, and Lange (2012). A majority of the respondents were highly educated, thus lending support to a favourable evaluative reaction,

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also known as attitude. These individuals may be better exposed to the knowledge on the importance of recycling, as well as its consequences to the environment.

The contribution of the social norm has been somewhat mixed in past studies, across a variety of disciplines and domains. This study indicated that social norm is significant with a small

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effect, coherent with past studies (Armitage & Conner, 1999; Nguyen, Zhu, & Le, 2015) which showed that social norm tends to emit weaker effect. On the contrary, Ramayah et al. (2012) and Park and Young (2012) emphasised that subjective norm stands out as the strongest predictor of recycling among university students, who are somewhat dependent on their parents and obey or observe social rules on the grounds of filial piety. Their behaviour is subject to

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Journal Pre-proof change due to social and demographic influences (Ramayah et al., 2012). At the point of writing, the propagation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has attracted worldwide attention. This study is an excellent complement to Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, which outlined reduction of waste generation via the prevention,

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reduction, recycling and reuse as one of the targets to contain the effects of environmental degradation.

Social media usage is a significant predictor of behavioural intention. Social networking sites have been instrumental in improving the environmental awareness of social media users.

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Images and messages related to environmental and social issues are shared among to netizens using the new media channels within a very short time frame, with little to no cost. Notably, past studies found that social media indeed influences an individual’s behaviour (Gallivan,

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Spitler, & Koufaris, 2005; Warren et al., 2015; Young & Jordan, 2013). The present study concurred with Oakley and Salam (2014), who recognised the influence of social networks in developing favourable sentiment towards environmental protection. While Elliot (2011)

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highlighted the prospects of technology-enabled solutions to manage waste, this study supported the use of new media channel as an indispensable communication tool to educate users with accurate and meaningful information to encourage community cohesion in addressing environmental degradation issues, especially within the society or broader community. Although the study showed that the effect of social media is significant but weak,

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Trivedi et al. (2018) attribute the circumstances to an inappropriate message strategy that fails to persuade viewers to change their habit. Therefore, relevant authorities and opinion leaders should design their content with thoughtfully to engage and interact with the masses at social media platform, i.e. live streaming and Do-It-Yourself videos, to promote recycling agenda in the hope of internalising these actions.

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Once again, although significant, social media usage appeared to be a weak predictor of behavioural intention, thus suggesting that inducing altruism among public members required more than raising awareness on the consequences of their actions. Some literature, including

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Botetzagias et al. (2015), suggested that recycling intention may improve with the internalisation of learned social norms into one’s self-concept or personal norm. Hopefully, the momentary sense of satisfaction influences individual to repeat pro-environmental behaviour and in due course, develop psychological attachment or long-term environmentally beneficial actions (Davis et al., 2015). Based on literature in food waste management, the influence of

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social media as a behavioural change agent may have been over-emphasised but cannot be disregarded yet (Grainger & Stewart, 2017; Young, Russell, & Barkemeyer, 2017; Young,

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Russell, Robinson, et al., 2017).

Consistent with past literature (Park & Yang, 2012; Tabernero & Hernández, 2011), selfefficacy is a significant and robust predictor of environmental intent and behaviour. Individuals

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would gladly participate when access to recycling programmes and facilities are made available to everyone (Chu & Chiu, 2003). The intention to recycle was found to be a statistically significant predictor of recycling behaviour. The result was consistent with past studies where intention leads to recycling behaviour (Barr, Gilg, & Ford, 2001; Chan & Bishop, 2013; Lee, 2011; Taylor & Todd, 1995; Wan et al., 2012; Wan et al., 2014; Ma et al., 2018; Kahn et al.,

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2019). NGO appeared to be exerting significant moderating effect to the relationship being studied. Therefore, NGO should persevere with collecting and disseminating relevant information to the neighbouring communities and local authorities to spur the development and revision of national environmental policy such as, but not limited to, the removal of polluting effluents in the palm oil production (Frank, Longhofer, & Schofer, 2007) and campaign to save

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Journal Pre-proof the Belum and Temengor forest reserves in Perak from deforestation and rigorous logging activities (Hashim et al., 2010). With regards to the role of government, this study did not provide adequate evidence on the significance of implementation and enforcement of environmental regulation to materialise recycling intention. The citizens still think the

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government is not putting in the much-needed efforts to encourage recycling behaviour. In other words, further intervention is required to empower individuals’ intention to perform

7.

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specific action.

Conclusion, Limitation and Suggestions for Future Research

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This study adds to the existing literature by providing insights into how social media usage relates to behaviour intention based on Integrated Behaviour Model developed by Fishbein (2000). Attitude, social norm, social media, and self-efficacy were significant predictors to the

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recycling intention among the general public in Penang. Limited studies highlighted the role of social media in explaining the adoption of recycling behaviour in the present context, and there are even more limited content creations related to recycling within the social media platform, indicating a greater need to create right and persuasive content that could influence and internalise individual’s intention-behaviour. In addition, past studies stated that the collectivist

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society tend to place greater importance on social norm compared to the individualistic societies (Park & Yang, 2012; Ramayah et al., 2012) but the outcome of this study is somewhat contrary to the people of Malaysia, because social norm, albeit significant, was weak in predicting recycling intention. Therefore, further studies are encouraged to test the relevance of this variable in the other states of this country. Additionally, it would be interesting to

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Journal Pre-proof examine the effect of personal norms, considering that we are becoming less socially cohesive, as compared to the days prior to the social media era.

While the role of NGO strengthened the recycling intention-behaviour, the moderating role of

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government was not significant, but this could be attributed to the use single-item construct, thus suggesting that the role of NGO should be revisited to ascertain its effect on the relationship under study. Considering that the government’s role was seen as important to the recycling intention-behaviour relationship, future studies may look into the effectiveness of the solid waste management regulations to encourage stakeholders, especially producers,

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distributors and retailers of consumer goods to develop centralised recycling centre or takeback programs to empower people to improve the rate of recycling substantially. At the same time, opinion leaders who are active on social media can become environmental conservation

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ambassadors to disseminate information, either online or offline, to engage members of the public to take up recycling. In Malaysia, we are blessed by influential figures such as Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, who contributed a generous gift to Jeffrey Sachs Center of Sustainable

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Development, which was established to assist the multi-disciplinary approaches to achieve UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) through collaboration with government agencies, private sector groups and civil society. Opinion leaders who are enthusiastic with UNSDG goals should become advocators of green consumerism and utilise new communication technologies (i.e. social media), to be more persuasive in changing consumer’s

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behaviour. At the point of writing, businesses are picking the pace in sustainability reporting and stakeholders, both internal and external, are engaged to mobilise the idea of sustainable development at a more serious note. Therefore, the strength of the recycling intentionbehaviour relationship should be kept in check, and it should be stronger under the influence of the above-mentioned interventions.

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Journal Pre-proof APPENDIX A Questionnaire Item and sources

4 5

Social media usage

1 2 3 1

My neighbours expect me to engage in recycling behaviour My family expects me to engage in recycling behaviour My friends expect me to engage in recycling behaviour Posts of links to recycling websites appear in my newsfeed of my social media account Posts of statement referring to recycling activities appear in my news feed of my social media account Posts of video on recycling events appear in my news feed of my social media account I have plenty of opportunity to recycle I know what items can be recycled I know where to take my waste for recycling I know how to recycle my waste It is easy to participate in recycling activities I am confident about participating in recycling activities It is most likely up to me whether or not to participate in recycling activities I can fully control my behaviour of participating in recycling activities The government should subsidize research on technology for recycling waste product Government should enforce rules and regulation related on recycling It makes me happy that the government does more to encourage recycling Municipal services should be the only responsible agent for recycling scheme implementation It makes me happy that the NGO does more to encourage recycling

Ramayah et al. (2012)

Keramitsoglou Tsagarakis (2013) Park and Yang (2012)

3 4

NGO should be the only responsible agent for recycling scheme implementation I plan to take part in recycling activities I am willing to take part in recycling activities advocated in the social media in near future I rather use old plastic / durable bag to shopping than use new ones I intend to buy products made of recycled materials

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

I recycle food cans I recycle newspaper I recycle drink cans I recycle clothes/fabric/textiles I recycle paper I recycle glass bottles I recycle magazines I recycle plastic bottles I recycle electric and electronic equipment’s I recycle batteries I separate recyclable items from waste

2 3 Self-efficacy

Government

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4

NGO

1

Recycling Intention

1 2

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Recycling Behaviour

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2

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Social Norm

Sources Tonglet, Phillips, and Read (2004) Ramayah et al. (2012)

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Items Recycling is good I believe that my recycling behaviour will help reduce pollution I believe that my recycling behaviour will help reduce wasteful use of landfills I believe that my recycling behaviour will help conserve natural resources I feel good about myself when I recycle

1 2 3

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Construct Attitude

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Oakley and Salam (2014)

Tonglet et al. (2004)

Park and Yang (2012)

Chen and Chai (2010)

Keramitsoglou and Tsagarakis (2013) Chen and Chai (2010)

Barr et al. (2001) Oakley and Salam (2014) Barr et al. (2001)

Keramitsoglou Tsagarakis (2013)

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Journal Pre-proof The Role of Social Media on Recycling Behaviour List of Tables Table 1: Demographic Profile Percentage

145 88

62.2 % 37.8 %

44 76 65 25 23

18.9 % 32.6 % 27.9 % 10.7 % 9.9 %

68 96 63 6

29.2 % 41.2 % 27.0 % 2.5 %

130 103

55.8 % 44.2 %

25 46 104 48 9

10.7 % 19.7 % 44.6 % 20.6 % 3.9 %

14 51 11 76 2 44 30 5

6.0 % 21.9 % 4.7 % 32.6 % 0.9 % 18.9 % 12.9 % 2.2 %

54 49 50 33 14 33

23.2 % 21.0 % 21.5 % 14.2 % 6.0 % 14.2%

33 40 75 32 53

14.2 % 17.2 % 32.2 % 13.7 % 22.7 %

77 104 36 8

33.0 % 44.6 % 15.5 % 6.8 %

173 11 22 18 5 4

74.2 % 4.7 % 9.4 % 7.7 % 2.1 % 1.7 %

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Gender Female Male Age Less than 25 years 26 to 30 years 31 to 40 years 41 to 50 years More than 50 years Ethnicity Malay Chinese Indian Others Marital status Single Married Educational qualification Secondary Diploma Bachelor degree Masters PhD Employment status Unemployed Professional / Supervisor / Engineer Top Management Middle Managers / Executive Housewife Support staff Student Others Monthly income Less than RM2,000 RM2,001 to RM3,000 RM3,001 to RM4,000 RM4,001 to RM5,000 RM5,001 to RM6,000 More than RM6,000 Number of years in recycling Don’t practise Less than 1 year 1 to 3 years 4 to 5 years More than 5 years Number of hours spent on social media Less than one hour 1 to 3 hours 3 to 6 hours Less than 6 hours Most frequently used social media Facebook Twitter Instagram Google Plus LinkedIn Others

Frequency

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Variables

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Table 2: Convergent validity Construct

Items

Social Media Usage

Self-efficacy

NGO Government Intention

a AVE

0.734 0.830 0.893 0.895 0.744 0.769 0.924 0.894 0.882 0.876 0.894 0.686 0.743 0.749 0.764 0.817 0.795 1.000 0.841 0.837

0.676

0.912

0.741

0.895

0.897 0.838 0.747 0.780 0.712 0.768 0.832 0.788 0.757 0.825 0.809 0.791

stands for average variance extracted. stands for composite reliability. * Single-item construct. SLF7, SLF8, GOV3, GOV4, RCB4, RCB7 and RCB9 were deleted due to low loadings.

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b CR

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Note:

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Recycling Behaviour

RCI1 RCI2 RCI3 RCI4 RCB1 RCB2 RCB3 RCB5 RCB6 RCB8 RCB10 RCB11

CRb

pro of

Social Norm

ATT1 ATT2 ATT3 ATT4 ATT5 SN1 SN2 SN3 SMU1 SMU2 SMU3 SLF1 SLF2 SLF3 SLF4 SLF5 SLF6 NGO1 GOV1 GOV2

AVEa

re-

Attitude

Loading

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0.782

0.915

0.578

0.891

1.000* 0.703

1.000* 0.826

0.668

0.889

0.626

0.930

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Social Norm

Social media usage

Selfefficacy

NGO

GOV

Intention

Attitude

0.822

Social norm

0.302

0.861

Social media usage

0.096

0.302

0.884

Self-efficacy

0.484

0.424

0.254

0.760

NGO

0.261

0.197

0.140

0.426

1.000

GOV

0.363

0.180

0.106

0.296

0.171

Intention

0.514

0.419

0.245

0.555

0.269

0.385

0.817

Recycling Behaviour

0.358

0.343

0.137

0.458

0.277

0.296

0.588

Recycling Behaviour

pro of

0.839 0.791

Note: The values in the diagonal (bolded) represent the square root of the AVE while the off-diagonals represent the correlations

Table 4: Hypothesis testing (Direct effects)

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H1 Attitude -> Intention H2 Social norm -> Intention H3 Social media usage -> Intention H4 Self-efficacy -> Intention H7 Intention -> Recycling Behaviour *p<0.05 (t=1.645); **p<0.01 (t=2.33)

Standardised beta 0.302 0.168 0.085 0.315 0.525

Standard error 0.060 0.061 0.049 0.064 0.056

f2

t-value

re-

Hypothesis/Relationship

0.118 0.037

5.059** 2.775** 1.729* 4.927** 9.938**

0.011 0.114 0.356

Decision Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported

Table 5: Hypothesis testing (Moderating effects) Hypothesis

Relationship

Intention * NGO -> Recycling Behaviour

H6

Intention * Government > Recycling Behaviour

t-Value

f2

-0.076

0.044

1.715*

0.009

Supported

0.047

1.021

0.004

Not supported

0.048

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*p<0.05 (t=1.645)

Standard error

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H5

Standardised beta

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pro of

NGO Social Norm

Recycling Intention Social Media Usage

Recycling Behaviour

GOV

re-

Self-efficacy

β = 0.302**

Attitude

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Social Norm

β = 0.168**

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Figure 1 Research Framework

Social Media Usage

Self-efficacy

NGO

R² = 0.421 Q² = 0.256

β = -0.076*

R² = 0.372 Q² = 0.214

Recycling Intention

β = 0.525**

Recycling Behaviour

β = 0.085*

β = 0.048

β = 0.315**

GOV

Jo

Note: *p<0.05 (t=1.645); **p<0.01 (t=2.33)

Figure 2 Structural model (Direct effect and effect size)

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Figure 3 Post Hoc Graph

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Highlights of the Paper, entitled

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Social media, along with attitude, social norm and self-efficacy predicted the intention to recycle. Recycling behaviour may materialise with greater commitment from non-governmental organisation. Recycling intention-behaviour appeared unaffected by the commitment from governmental bodies.

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‘The Role of Social Media on Recycling Behaviour’

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