Waste separation at source behaviour among Malaysian households: The Theory of Planned Behaviour with moral norm

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.122025Get rights and content


Moral norm influence the waste separation at source behaviour the most.

All determinants are significant and positively influence behaviour.

A large sample of data is collected to represent the high-rise residential.

From the findings, Malaysia governance could improve the implementation of SSI.



Malaysia, as one of the countries that intend to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations (UN). Under the responsible consumption and production goals category, Malaysian households should take part by practising waste separation at home when the Separation at Source Initiative (SSI) under Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) launched and effective in September 2015. However, many households in Malaysia is unwilling to participate. As the local authority has taken an extrinsic motivation thru SSI, this paper will study the impact of intrinsic motivation among the households. This paper purpose is to emphasise the part of intrinsic motivation thru extended Theory of Planned Behaviour in influencing households waste separation behaviour. A questionnaire survey was conducted towards high-rise residential units in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and obtained a total of 900 valid questionnaires. Data are analysed using the Smart PLS software. The results show that all the determinants from the model that consists of attitude towards behaviour, subjective norm, perceived behaviour control, and moral norm are significant. All the determinants positively influence the waste separation behaviour with the moral norm as the most influential determinant in improving households intrinsic motivation to engage with the waste separation at source behaviour. This paper result with the suggestions to foster waste separation behaviour among households based on the findings.


To identify the factors that could positively influence the waste separation at source behaviour among high-rise residents in Kuala Lumpur. This paper intends to discover the application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) extended with Moral Norm (MN) element in influencing the Waste Separation at Source Behaviour (WSB) among households. As this research focuses on intrinsic motivation, the MN element is included as it is one of the elements that represent a person intrinsic motivation. The result will support the application of moral norm together with TPB determinants. Furthermore, it shows the significance of the extended TPB.


Most past papers studied the recycling intentions and behaviour among households. This paper is the first study that applying the extended TPB in investigating the WSB among high-rise residents in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The implication of the findings is useful for the local authority to encourage waste separation at source behaviour among households.


Theory of planned behaviour
Moral norm
Waste separation
Sustainability assessment

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