Assessing the determinants of participation in the circular plastic economy by Nigerian students

Silifat Abimbola Okoya, Muyiwa Oyinlola*, Olubunmi Ajala, Oluwaseun Kolade, Arinola Adefila, Esther Akinlabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: This study aims to address the critical subject of building capacity for the circular economy in the global south. It complements the literature by providing information on the role of higher education institutions in developing skills for the circular plastic economy. 

Design/methodology/approach: This study used a mixed method approach drawing on reflective analysis on qualitative data from 5 focus groups and 12 semi-structured interviews, and structural equation modelling of quantitative data from 151 students across 4 Nigerian Universities. 

Findings: The results indicate that Nigerian university students are more likely to participate in the circular plastic economy through a high prominence of soft power features such as increased awareness, inspiration, idea generation, encouragement and capacity building. 

Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of this study is with the sample. A larger data set, including other tertiary institutions such as private universities, polytechnics and schools of vocational studies, would strengthen the results. 

Practical implications: The study underlines the importance of targeted policy interventions and pedagogic innovations to drive awareness and knowledge building among Nigeria’s youth population. 

Originality/value: This study makes a novel contribution by using empirical evidence to determine the predictors of student participation in the circular plastic economy. This understanding is important for the development and implementation of appropriate policies that promote participation in the circular plastic economy. Furthermore, given the typical youthful age bracket of university students, any plans to achieve a systemic shift in the plastic value chain must involve the young generation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Early online date6 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jun 2024

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