Incorporating consumer insights into the UK food packaging supply chain in the transition to a circular economy
journal contributionposted on 04.08.2020, 10:49 by Nikki Clark, Rhoda TriminghamRhoda Trimingham, Garrath WilsonGarrath Wilson
The growth of eating lunch purchased out of the home has led to an increased need for pre-packaged food-to-go products. Single-use plastic packaging is frequently chosen for its food safety and convenience attributes; however, the material format is under scrutiny due to concerns over economic waste and environmental impact. A circular economy could transform linear make-use-dispose supply chains into circular systems, ensuring the cycling of valuable plastic resources. However, there has been limited research into how consumers will behave within circular economic systems. Understanding consumer behaviour with packaging disposed out of the home could aid designers in developing solutions society will adopt in the transition to a circular economy. This study evaluates the application of behaviour research methods, and the behavioural insight outputs, with stakeholders from the UK food-to-go packaging supply chain. A novel co-design workshop and business origami technique allowed multiple stakeholder groups to collaboratively discuss, evaluate, and plan how consumer behaviour techniques could be used within their supply chain packaging development process. Although all stakeholders identified strengths in incorporating behaviour studies into the development process, providing essential knowledge feedback loops, barriers to their application include the cost and time to implement, plus the existing inconsistent UK waste infrastructure.