Personal and structural factors that influence individual plastic packaging consumption—Results from focus group discussions with German consumers
Jasmin Wiefek * , Julia Steinhorst, Katharina Beyerl
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS), Berliner Strasse 130, 14467, Potsdam, Germany
Keywords: Plastic packaging Zero packaging Zero waste Waste prevention Sufficiency Consumer behaviour
Plastic waste is perceived as one of the major environmental problems of our times. Nevertheless, rates of consumption of plastic packaging are constantly increasing. Based on focus group discussions with German consumers this study identified personal and structural barriers that hinder a reduced plastic packaging consumption. Combining our findings with those of previous studies, we conclude that fundamental changes in infrastructures and lifestyles, as well as cultural and economic transformation processes, are needed to make zero-waste shopping the norm and unpackaged goods the most affordable and convenient option. The questions ‘Who is shopping?’, ‘What are we shopping?’, ‘Where do we go shopping?’, and ‘When/how often do we go shopping?’ help in identifying the levers for a dissemination of the unpacked concept and also reveal factors that have so far only been marginally discussed in the discourse on the plastic problem and have not yet been systematically linked to it.
To read the full article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clrc.2021.100022