Behaviours and attitudes of consumers towards bioplastics: An exploratory study in Italy

Notaro S., Lovera E., Paletto A. (2022): Behaviours and attitudes of consumers towards bioplastics: An exploratory study in Italy. J. For. Sci., 68: 121–135.

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Bio-based and biodegradable plastics produced from wood residues can have a positive impact on the environment by replacing conventional plastics. However, the current bioplastics market is held back by a lack of available information and weak marketing activities aimed at final consumers. To increase the available information, the present study investigated the consumers’ attitudes and behaviours towards bioplastic products. A web-based survey was conducted on a sample of potential consumers in Italy. 1 115 consumers filled out the questionnaire with a dropout rate in compilation of 14%. The results showed that the environmental characteristics of bioplastics (lower impact on climate change and renewable sources used to produce them) are considered more important by respondents than the non-environmental characteristics (technical properties, origin of raw material, potential trade-off between bioplastics and food production). The results highlighted that the most important behavioural factor is the purchase intentions, followed by control of perceived cost and subjective norm. It is interesting to emphasize that the cost of bioplastics compared to conventional plastics is a key variable in the choices of many Italian consumers. The results provided can be useful to the manufacturing industries to better understand the consumers’ attitudes towards bioplastics.

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