Systemic and behavioural change

The Centre for a Waste-Free World's Catalysts for Systemic and Behavioural Change program brings together QUT researchers from law, psychology, education, design, planning, chemistry and engineering to collaborate in new ways and create pathways for social change.

Central to our vision for creating a waste-free world is recognising that all opportunities for waste reduction occur within a social context – ranging from regulatory structures and systems through to experiences and behaviours of individuals.

Real-world innovation

A waste-free world requires major transformations to technologies, infrastructure, economic models, government regulations and the daily actions of individuals.

Social science can identify how existing regulations and governance structures can enable or constrain uptake of technical solutions. It can also develop new regulatory or governance approaches that facilitate change. Working collaboratively with government partners, we will streamline the fragmented and complex regulation of waste at international, federal, state and local levels and further our understanding of how regulatory interventions drive sustainable consumption.

At the level of the individual, social science can identify strategies to promote adoption of both private waste-reduction behaviours and public engagement needed to demonstrate support for new policies and practices. Working with community-based partners, we will develop new communication, educational, behaviour change and engagement techniques, and evaluate their impact on the adoption of new behaviours and practices throughout society.

Our projects

Our research program team oversees the following projects.

QUT researchers have developed an app that helps you track, visualise and find easy alternatives to plastic in your everyday life.

Reducing waste at QUT

We're working with QUT staff and students to co-create a system that creates less waste on our university campuses.

Co-creating a Queensland Government plastic matrix

QUT conducted an innovation sprint to map out the issues around plastic pollution, guide policy design and develop real-world prototypes.

A child's view of sustainability

Early childhood researchers are learning how children respond when they are presented with images about sustainability, human justice and human impacts on the world.

Single-use food and beverage packaging

This project addresses the urgent need to reduce Australia’s demand for single use take away food and beverage packaging, by understanding the barriers to adopting waste-free alternatives.

Program team

Professor Leonie Barner

Macromolecular and materials chemistry

Centre Director

Dr Angela Dean

Environmental science and management, human society, psychology

Program Leader

Dr Rowena Maguire

Law, environmental science and management

Program Leader

Dr Judith Herbst

Business and management

Dr Manuela Taboada

Design practice and management, communication and media studies, urban and regional planning

Dr Hope Johnson

Food and agricultural law, regulation and governance

Associate Professor Debra Cushing

Architecture, urban and regional planning

Dr Lyndal O'Gorman

Early childhood education

Professor Katherine White

Social psychology

Dr Glenda Caldwell

Architecture, design practice and management

Dr Kathleen Mullen

Analytical chemistry, macromolecular and materials chemistry, physical chemistry

Dr Vicki Martin

Environmental social science

Contact us

Centre for a Waste-Free World

Institute for Future Environments
Level 6, P Block
Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia

Postal address

Centre for a Waste-Free World
Institute for Future Environments
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane QLD 4001

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