Circular packaging choices: reconciling consumer perceptions in product packaging design.


The production, use, disposal and recovery of packaging not only generates massive volumes of waste, it also consumes raw materials, water and energy (Fitzpatrick et al. 2012). Simultaneously, consumers have shown an increasing interest in products incorporating sustainable and social attributes (Kletzan et al., 2006). As a result, environmentally friendly packaging, also called eco­friendly or sustainable packaging, has become mainstream. In this context, packaging is more than just ensuring the product's protection and easing transportation, it is also a communicative tool (Palmer, 2000) and it becomes associated with multiple drivers of the purchasing process. Consequently, companies face pressure to innovate responding to consumer demands, and focusing on sustainable solutions that reduce harmful materials and favour green alternatives for both, the product and the packaging.
Although the above has triggered research on consumer choice for sustainable products and alternatives on sustainable packaging, the relation between sustainable packaging and consumer behaviour remains underexplored. This research unpacks this relationship, i.e., empirically verifies which dimensions (recyclability, biodegradability, reusability) of sustainable packaging are perceived and valued by consumers. Put differently, this research investigates consumer behaviour towards the functions of sustainable packaging in terms of product protection, convenience, reliability of information and promotion, and scrutinises the perceived credibility of the associated ethical responsibility claims. It aims to identify those packaging materials and/or sustainability characteristics perceived as more sustainable by consumers as well as the factors influencing actual consumer choice towards sustainable packaged products. We aim to gain more insights in the perceptual frame that different types of consumers apply when exposed to sustainable packaging. To this end, we will make use of revealed preference methods to measure consumer valuations of sustainable packaged products. This game-theoretic approach should provide a more complete depiction of consumers' perceptions and preferences.





Ir. C.S.H. De Lille

Verbonden aan

De Haagse Hogeschool (HHS), College van Bestuur


01/02/2019 tot 31/12/2019