Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Primary School Children’s Responses to Food waste at School

Yen, D.; Dovey, T.; Cappellini, B.

Primary School Children’s Responses to Food waste at School Thumbnail


D. Yen

T. Dovey


Purpose: This paper seeks to understand children’s responses to food waste in school by exploring children’s view on food waste and empowering them to discuss and develop their own solutions. Design/methodology/approach: Using creative problem-solving approach and photo voice technique, we conducted focus group discussions with 28 primary school children in the UK. Findings: Children have a clear understanding of the consequences of food waste for individuals, society, and the environment. They displayed negative emotions concerning food waste and responded positively to the possibility of food recycling. Their solutions to reduce food waste will require multiple stakeholder engagement, including self-regulation, peer-monitoring, teacher supervision and family support. However, rather than relying on intervention schemes that require significant adult involvement, children placed a heavy emphasis on self-regulation, playing an active role in addressing food waste in school. Originality: This research extends previous understanding, by showing children as agentic consumers that can shape food waste solutions in school. These findings are of use to primary teachers and local education authorities, to aid children in developing their own solutions to reduce food waste in their own schools.


Yen, D., Dovey, T., & Cappellini, B. (2022). Primary School Children’s Responses to Food waste at School. British Food Journal, 124(13), 109-125.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 8, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jan 20, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 20, 2022
Journal British Food Journal
Print ISSN 0007-070X
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 124
Issue 13
Pages 109-125
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (555 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact

You might also like

Downloadable Citations