The dynamic systemic structure that explains food waste of young adults in the Netherlands

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Food waste is a dynamic and multi-faceted problem that cannot be linked to single variables (Schanes et al., 2018). It is not only a threat to society but also causes greenhouse gas emissions and wastes resources (Lewis, 2022). In the Netherlands, Dutch young adults between 24 and 34 years old are the highest waste group since they have less experience with food and their food practices are pleasure-seeking, improvisational, and social, which leads to more food waste (Evans, 2011; Hebrok & Broks, 2017; Ellison & Lusk, 2018). The purpose of this research is to broaden the understanding of the dynamic systemic structure of food waste among young adults in the Netherlands. Using a qualitative system dynamics approach, a causal loop diagram (CLD) was made based on literature. The CLD was validated by Dutch young adults during disconfirmatory interviews (n = 9). The participants were asked to confirm or disconfirm causal relationships in the model. Changes were made based on the experiences of Dutch young adults with food waste. In the final model, there is one endogenous variable, two exogenous variables, and one arrow added. There is also one exogenous variable deleted from the theoretical model. Therefore, the final model consists of five reinforcing feedback loops. Important loops in this model are environmental and financial considerations, good provider identity, and food management skills. These findings have the potential to create effective solutions for food waste among Dutch young adults.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen