The effects of green nudges on consumer valuation of bio-based plastic packaging

Joana Wensing*, Vincenzina Caputo, Laura Carraresi, Stefanie Bröring

*Corresponding author for this work

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Plastic packaging is widely associated with negative environmental consequences, which is why the food industry is increasingly interested in pro-environmental packaging alternatives- such as bio-based plastic. As the market share for bio-based plastic packaging is still small, strategies to raise consumer awareness and willingness to pay (WTP) are needed. This study integrates insights from environmental psychology and behavioral economics into choice models to assess which green nudges are most effective to increase consumer WTP for bio-based packaging. We tested a total of four strategies by providing consumers with nature pictures, reflection questions, information on bio-based plastics and normative information. Using a sample of 1019 German consumers, our results indicate that the strongest effects are generated when the nudging strategy matches the characteristic of consumers' cognitive style. For example, providing nature pictures only seems to increase WTP for bio-based packaging when consumers base their decision on their emotions and intuition. On the other hand, the strategies that provide normative information and activate the reflection about environmental consequences of plastics are most effective for consumers who enjoy cognitive deliberation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106783
Number of pages16
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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