‘I waste food but this is not my fault!': Exploring the drivers of plate waste in foodservices of Turkey through the prism of neutralisation theory

Coşkun A., Filimonau V.

JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, vol.329, pp.129695, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 329
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129695
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.129695
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Plate leftovers account for a substantial portion of food waste generated in foodservices. Although consumers acknowledge this wastage, they blame others or circumstances beyond their control for why plate leftovers occur, thus showcasing deviant behaviour. This study advocates that neutralisation theory can aid in understanding the antecedents of this deviance. The study employs modified theory of planned behaviour to test the role of selected neutralisation techniques in the context of the hospitality and foodservice of Turkey, an established market of out-of-home food consumption. The findings show that denial of responsibility and appeal to higher loyalties, as the key neutralisers, predict wasteful consumer behaviour. Knowledge of food waste and personal attitudes can reduce the impact of these neutralisation techniques, but cannot eliminate it entirely. To tackle plate leftovers, industry practitioners, policy-makers and academics should identify effective counter measures against customer deviance driven by neutralisation. Financial (dis)incentives, (re) design of business operations and more flexibility given to consumers when placing food orders may represent such counter measures.