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How Water Bottle Refill Stations Contribute to Campus Sustainability: A Case Study in Japan

Takuro Uehara () and Alayna Ynacay-Nye ()
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Takuro Uehara: College of Policy Science, Ritsumeikan University, 2-150 Iwakura-cho, Ibaraki City, Osaka 567-8570, Japan
Alayna Ynacay-Nye: Research Organization of Open Innovation and Collaboration, Ritsumeikan University, 2-150 Iwakura-cho, Ibaraki City, Osaka 567-8570, Japan

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 9, 1-19

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of installing Water bottle Refill Stations (WRSs) and their contributions to campus sustainability by means of encouraging pro-environmental behavior in students. Plastic waste is one of the most critical environmental issues. Therefore, we investigated how WRS can deter students from using disposable plastic bottles. We conducted a survey at a Japanese university to address (1) students’ Willingness To Pay (WTP) to install WRS, (2) their Willingness To Use (WTU) WRSs while acknowledging its environmental benefits, and (3) the impact of communicating information about points (1) and (2). We utilized Goal-Framing Theory (GFT) and the Integrated Framework for Encouraging Pro-Environmental Behavior (IFEP) as the theoretical background of our study. The results of our survey found that the mean WTP was 2211 JPY (1 JPY = 0.01 USD), an amount students would donate just once. This finding indicates students would be willing to pay to install a WRS at their university. The mean WTP students supported would be enough to cover the WRS installation and maintenance costs. According to our study, 58.82% of students stated that they would be willing to use WRS. In doing so, students would save 45,191 disposable plastic bottles and reduce 10,846 kg of related CO 2 emissions every year. Our study also showed a statistically significant increase in WTP and WTU WRS as we introduced more and more information about pro-environmental behaviors to students. This finding indicates the importance of information campaigning and learning how to encourage pro-environmental behavior.

Keywords: water bottle refill stations; campus sustainability; willingness to pay; contingent valuation method; willingness to use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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