Young Malaysian Consumers’ Perception Towards Zero Wastes

Ahmad Hariza Hashim, Chong Han Xi and Che Wei Sien
Department of Resource Management and Consumer Studies, University Putra Malaysia


The globalization of Western consumption patterns marked by throw-away consumer culture is one of the contributing causes of waste and pollution problems. The increasing number of waste has become a problem that should be given utmost attention by the population. Zero waste practices can be a solution for this. In this research, an investigation on how young consumers perceive zero waste practices, reasoning for those practices, as well as factors affecting their perceptions towards zero waste practices has been carried out. Qualitative research method based on the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) has been carried out among UPM year 2 students. Young Malaysian consumers‟ perception towards zero wastes can generally be categorized into four; consumption practices, resources used, disposal of products, and environment. Overall, Malaysian young consumers see zero wastes concept as a system in managing waste minimization starting from the upstream of the consumption process. They stated that they need to understand and appreciate zero waste concepts and later to practice them in their day to day activities and make them a habit before convincing others to practice them too. They need role models and guidance on the correct ways of segregation and disposal of wastes. They emphasize on the importance of government’s policy on zero waste because in order to change behaviors, the role of policy is important to facilitate sustainable ones.