Packaging and Proenvironmental Consumption Behavior: Investigating Purchase and Disposal Decisions for Beverages

van Birgelen, M., Semeijn, J., & Keicher, M. (2009). Packaging and proenvironmental consumption behavior: Investigating purchase and disposal decisions for beverages. Environment and Behavior, 41(1), 125-146.

Understanding proenvironmental consumption behavior may enable companies to establish reputational and competitive advantages. This study generates new insights by analyzing consumer-related factors related to distinct but connected package-related behaviors regarding beverage consumption: purchase and postconsumption disposal. An online survey among 176 German respondents provides empirical support for all but one hypothesis. The results suggest that eco-friendly purchase and disposal decisions for beverages are related to the environmental awareness of consumers and their eco-friendly attitude. Furthermore, consumers are willing to trade off almost all product attributes in favor of environmentally friendly packaging of beverages, except for taste and price. The nonsupported hypothesis pertains to the expectation that believing in the positive effects of own eco-friendly disposal actions will guide ecological disposal behavior. Perceived behavioral control may thus not translate into actual disposal behavior. Underlying this may be the belief that individual actions are not enough to contribute to a greener world.

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