“People have been paid to sweep the place!”- Exploring the antecedents of littering behaviour in Ghana.

  • DR Margaret Amankwah-Poku University of Ghana
  • DR George Ofori University of Ghana
Keywords: Littering, Waste disposa, Negative behaviour, Ghana, Environment


This study explored why Ghanaians litter their environment indiscriminately in spite of its adverse consequences. Twelve
students from the University of Ghana were interviewed and the data analysed using thematic analysis. Three themes emerged,
reflecting participants’ 1) Knowledge concerning littering, 2) Reasons why they litter their environment and 3) Ways of curbing
littering. Participants knew what littering was but still littered their environment because, among other things, they did not feel
responsible for the proper disposal of litter, littering felt like “it’s part of you”, litter begets littering and there were no bins or none
close by. It is important that individuals are educated on the dire consequences of littering and that the government enforces the
laws governing littering. Reward and punishment systems should be instituted to acknowledge clean communities and enforce
penalties in unclean communities.