DIFFERENTIATING ACTIVE AND PASSIVE LITTERING: A TWO-STAGE PROCESS MODEL OF LITTERING BEHAVIOR
 
Sibley, C., Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
 
A two-stage process model of littering behavior that differentiated two types of littering, termed active and passive, was developed. The distinction between active littering (e.g. someone throws their litter on the ground and continues walking past) and passive littering (e.g. someone places their litter on a table where they are seated and then fails to remove it when subsequently leaving) depends on the latency between when (a) litter is placed in a proximal location in the environment and (b) the subsequent failure to remove that litter when vacating the immediate area. The impact of posted feedback and the placement of additional litter receptacles and ashtrays on rates of passive and active littering behavior was assessed. Results suggested that passive littering was more resistant to change than active littering. This was true of both cigarette and non- cigarette litter. Results also suggested that an item was more likely to be littered when the latency of passive littering (i.e. the time between when litter was placed and the individual left the area) was longer. Overall, these findings indicate that littering behavior is more complex than has been previously identified, and that a more detailed level of analysis may be necessary in order to ascertain the ways in which different litter reduction interventions change behavior.