Plastics are extremely useful, but their mismanagement has affected the environment and our health. Rethinking the development and use of plastics is central to the circular economy paradigm, to provide less harmful options for the environment. Thus, more types of plastic packaging are available, but each reflects diverse circular economy strategies (we refer to these as potentially circular packaging - PCP). We aim to explore consumers’ awareness of these strategies and its effect during the purchasing moment. This study consists of a between-subject experiment, where five types of PCP (i.e., bottled juice packaged in different plastics) were tested on a representative panel of the Italian population (1236 individuals) through stratified random sampling. We designed a 2×2 factors experiment (recycled plastics vs. compostable plastics × third-party certification vs. no certification) with a control group (recyclable plastic). Data were processed through Bayesian Generalized Linear Modeling. We found that despite the assumptions about sustainable plastic packaging consumption in the food sector, all of our options can be considered as valuable alternatives. Consumers may be confused and unable to establish the consequences in the circular economy in terms of each type of PCP. Regardless of whether third-party certifications are provided, consumers’ purchasing intentions are mainly affected by the attractiveness, perceived quality, and eco-friendliness of the packaging. Concerns about pollution, affluent behavior, and openness to change are also found to be relevant in PCP choices. Our findings provide various theoretical and managerial implications.

Five shades of plastic in food: Which potentially circular packaging solutions are Italian consumers more sensitive to

Testa F.;Di Iorio V.;Cerri J.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Plastics are extremely useful, but their mismanagement has affected the environment and our health. Rethinking the development and use of plastics is central to the circular economy paradigm, to provide less harmful options for the environment. Thus, more types of plastic packaging are available, but each reflects diverse circular economy strategies (we refer to these as potentially circular packaging - PCP). We aim to explore consumers’ awareness of these strategies and its effect during the purchasing moment. This study consists of a between-subject experiment, where five types of PCP (i.e., bottled juice packaged in different plastics) were tested on a representative panel of the Italian population (1236 individuals) through stratified random sampling. We designed a 2×2 factors experiment (recycled plastics vs. compostable plastics × third-party certification vs. no certification) with a control group (recyclable plastic). Data were processed through Bayesian Generalized Linear Modeling. We found that despite the assumptions about sustainable plastic packaging consumption in the food sector, all of our options can be considered as valuable alternatives. Consumers may be confused and unable to establish the consequences in the circular economy in terms of each type of PCP. Regardless of whether third-party certifications are provided, consumers’ purchasing intentions are mainly affected by the attractiveness, perceived quality, and eco-friendliness of the packaging. Concerns about pollution, affluent behavior, and openness to change are also found to be relevant in PCP choices. Our findings provide various theoretical and managerial implications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/544555
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