Effects of sustainable design strategies on consumer preferences for redesigned packaging

Nigel D. Steenis*, Ivo A. van der Lans, Erica van Herpen, Hans C.M. van Trijp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The environmental benefit from sustainable packaging is not only dependent on the characteristics of the packaging, but also on consumer willingness to purchase sustainably packaged products. Consumer response is likely influenced by the specific design strategies that are used to make packaging more sustainable. Based on the circular economy concept, this paper distinguishes between circular and linear design strategies, and investigates consumer responses to packaging redesigned according to such strategies. Two experiments were conducted to assess to what extent (combinations of) sustainable design strategies affect consumers’ purchase intentions. The results show that consumers are more positive toward redesigns following a circular design strategy (e.g., biodegradable materials) compared to linear redesigns (e.g., packaging lightweighting). Additionally, consumers are not more willing to buy packaging redesigns combining multiple sustainable design strategies, relative to those using only a single redesign strategy. Multi-strategy redesigns are perceived only as marginally more sustainable than single strategy redesigns. These diminishing returns can be attributed to a lack of increase in the moral satisfaction consumers achieve from buying product with multi-rather than single-strategy redesigned sustainable packaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)854-865
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume205
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • Consumer perception
  • Packaging design
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable design

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