Automatizing Green Practices? The Analysis of Reverse Vending Machines as a Re-contamination of Theories of Practices

Paolo Giardullo

Abstract


The analysis I bring to the present symposium about contamination of practice theories concentrates on potential reconfiguration of domestic waste management as social practice through the installation of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs). Being them designed to collect plastic bottles and caps assigning a reward to whom bestows them, this research concentrates on RVMs functioning and the re-composition of everyday practices they are supposed to bring. The analysis re-contaminates theories of practices encompassing consumptions studies, sustainability and Actor-Network Theory’s concepts within the broader framework of environmental sociology. These three scholarships already contaminated theories of practices and contributed sensibly to strengthen their application. I will review the essence of these contributions and, moving from that, I will further explore the agency of objects within everyday social practices relying on the case study of RVMs. Through media analysis further informed by fieldnotes about direct observation and informal interviews, I will reconstruct the RVM rationale highlighting the connections with material arrangements of everyday practices.

Keywords


Theories of social practices; Environmental sociology; Recycling; Domestic waste management; Reverse vending machine

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1971-8853/9424

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