Recycling is the most efficient waste management method in terms of environment and economy for wastes that cannot be prevented and reused are processed. When it is considered that a significant amount of municipal waste comes from households, it can be understood how important individual waste separation efforts in households are for the efficient operation of recycling systems and for reaching the targeted recycling rates. The social marketing approach accentuates that increasing the recycling behavior of individuals requires knowing and managing the barriers to the behavior as well as the motivating factors. In this context, many studies have been conducted on the barriers to recycling behavior since the 1980s, and many barriers have been identified. This research aims to summarize the extant knowledge on the barriers to behavior by presenting a systematic literature review of the studies on the barriers to individual recycling behavior in the literature. In this context, 72 empirical studies published between 1985-2022 in accordance with the pre-determined criteria were analyzed in-depth and reported within the framework of the PRISMA protocol. The findings showed that research was essentially divided into three groups: research that focuses on 1) discovering what the barriers were, 2) discovering which barriers were more important, and 3) analyzing the relationships of barriers to intentions and behaviors. It is observed that the barriers that are most emphasized and the effects of which on behavior are examined in the literature are mainly the barriers related to the perception of recycling as difficult and unfavorable. Some weaknesses of current studies have shed light on issues that need to be addressed in future research. In future research, it would be beneficial to study 1) development of a valid and reliable barrier scale that will allow continuous measurement of different types of barriers, 2) the inter-relationships between barriers in order to identify the main barriers that trigger new barriers, 3) links between other barriers apart from difficulty-inconvenience barrier with both recycling behavior and its known antecedents.


Recycling behavior, waste segregation at home, PRISMA