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An Evaluation of a Consumer Food Waste Awareness Campaign using the Motivation Opportunity Ability Framework

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Author: Li, Belinda
As awareness around the issue of food waste has grown, various types of interventions to reduce food waste have emerged, many of which tackle waste at the household level. The most popular type of intervention is the awareness campaign, where information and tips are provided to individuals in order to motivate and improve the abilities of households to reduce the amount of food waste they generate, and to better manage food in general. This study is the first to apply the Motivation Opportunity Ability (MOA) framework to assess the experience of householders who participated in an awareness campaign intervention study. Specifically, it highlights how the intervention impacted their motivations, opportunities and abilities to reduce food waste. Using two focus groups engaging a total of 44 participants in the City of Toronto, we found that the awareness interventions had positive impacts in improving motivation and ability. They were less impactful in providing opportunities to reduce food waste but we did find that interventions that act as nudges can help provide some opportunities, albeit at a micro-scale. The study also found that despite the campaign, there were many barriers that resulted in households not acting in accordance with their motivations and abilities, mainly due to challenges around store promotions. This paper contributes to an emerging body of literature applying the MOA framework in the field of food waste studies and recommends that future interventions are designed in a manner that addresses all three factors.
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