Factors affecting consumers' choices concerning sustainable packaging during product purchase and recycling

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171 Citations (Scopus)


The interest in sustainable (environmentally friendly) packaging has started to increase in comparison with regular packaging. To date, research has focused on how to increase the sustainability of packaging through the use of eco-design tools, and there has been only limited investigation of the relationship between sustainable packaging and consumer behavior during the purchase and recycling stages of the packaging life cycle. The present study examines the factors that influence consumers' product purchasing behavior and their recycling behavior with respect to sustainable packaging. Data from an online survey of 215 respondents in Portugal was used to test several hypotheses by comparing two groups of consumers: one group that places importance on environmentally friendly packaging and another that regards such packaging as unimportant in product purchase decisions. The results obtained show that gender, environmental awareness, concerns about societal opinions, a positive attitude towards green purchasing, and the perception of consumer actions are factors that differentiate the two groups of consumers. The findings should prove of use to public decision-makers, companies producing packaging, and marketers. However, features such as price are still needed to alter the behavior of consumers with respect to encouraging the use of sustainable packaging. In the near future, the study should be spread to a national scale to extend the findings of the present study, and to explore further aspects of consumer pro-environmental behavior with respect to sustainable packaging, including how the relationship between product and packaging may influence consumer behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Demographics
  • Environmental awareness
  • Packaging features
  • Recycling behavior
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Theory of planned behavior


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