Same, different, new and bio: Consumer responses to sustainable food packaging solutions

Technology innovation is currently extensively used to aid the sustainability agenda. One stream of innovation relates to sustainable packaging solutions that emerged as a response to plastic pollution. Among proposed solutions lays the promise of bioplastic, a biodegradable packaging material made of biomass. Yet, regardless of  bioplastic’s potential, its success is ultimately dependent on consumer responses. Thoroughly researching responses to bioplastic is relevant as bioplastic comes with certain properties that may hinder straightforward consumer acceptance. Here, we refer to physical outlook (i.e. bioplastic can highly resemble conventional plastic) and not easily inferred but required recycling practices (i.e. disposal with organic waste).

This project employs a multi-method approach to answer two main research objectives. First, to investigate how bioplastic’s properties and benefits are best communicated to the consumers. Consequently, the second objective of this research is to assess consumer perceptions and evaluations of products packaged in bioplastic. We also aim to understand whether the virtue of sustainability is valued more in sum with perceived sustainability of the packaged product within. Lastly, we will also consider how individual consumer characteristics influence product-packaging evaluations.

YPACK has 21 partners from 10 EU member countries. A detailed list of our partners can be found on

Keywords: consumer behavior, perceptions, sustainability, packaging, food, bioplastic

People involved in this project