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    Consumer attitudes and concerns with bioplastics use: An international study

    Leal, W ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1241-5225, Barbir, J, Abubakar, IR, Paço, A, Stasiskiene, Z, Hornbogen, M, Fendt, MTC, Voronova, V and Klõga, M (2022) Consumer attitudes and concerns with bioplastics use: An international study. PLoS One, 17 (4). e0266918. ISSN 1932-6203

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    Abstract

    The world production of plastic exceeded 360 million tonnes in 2020 alone, a considerable amount of which is not properly disposed of. The significant pressures and damages posed by conventional plastic to human and environmental health suggest that alternatives are urgently needed. One of them is “bioplastic”, which is defined as bio-based plastic that is (or not) biodegradable. This paper reports on a study on the perceptions of bioplastics among consumers in 42 countries to identify their levels of information and concerns. The results suggest that most respondents have positive expectations regarding the future of bioplastics to replace conventional plastics fully or partially, especially for food containers, kitchenware, and boxes and bags for packaging. They also reported that the low costs and increased availability of bioplastic products on the market are likely to be the main drivers for their wide-scale adoption. However, many participants are unsure whether they would buy biobased and biodegradable products if they are expensive. Overall, whereas a rather positive attitude to bioplastics has been identified, greater efforts are needed to address the many information needs of consumers towards upscaling the adoption of bioplastics. Relevant policies are therefore needed to encourage investments in the large-scale manufacture and market uptake of bioplastics. The paper reports on an initial study of consumer behavior, in a sample of countries spread across all geographical regions.

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