Development and validation of the motivation to avoid food waste scale

Daphne Ribbers*, Maggie Geuens, Mario Pandelaere, Erica van Herpen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Food waste is one of society's biggest problems, with huge ecological, economic and social consequences. Hence, there is a necessity to derive a better insight in how consumers can be triggered to avoid food waste. Although it is generally known that motivations are important drivers of human behavior, limited attention has been paid to motivations in the food waste context and no viable measurement instrument exists that systematically takes into account the different motivations underlying the avoidance of food waste. Current scales related to food waste concern encompass attitude and awareness items only. The current paper aims to fill this gap and develops a 21-item Motivation to Avoid Food Waste (MAFW) scale. Since consumers may be driven by different motivations to avoid food waste, special attention is paid to the multidimensionality of food waste avoidance motivations. Specifically, the MAFW-scale consists of four motivations: environmental, moral, financial and social motivations. Three studies demonstrate the scale's internal reliability, test-retest reliability, nomological validity, and predictive validity. The MAFW-scale fosters research into the genesis of consumers’ food waste behaviors, and can serve as a tool to segment and target (un)motivated consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102626
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Consumer food waste
  • Environmental motivation
  • Financial motivation
  • Moral motivation
  • Social motivation


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