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Avoiding food becoming waste in households: The role of packaging in consumers’ practices across different food categories
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6469-9947
RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2887-2463
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8669-6656
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2020 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 265, p. 1-14, article id 121775Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food wastage in households remains a sustainability challenge that poses both environmental and social problems. Among the many factors contributing to this problem, the packaging, including its design and functions, can either leverage or reduce food waste. Yet packaging is often considered an environmental villain, which can lead to missed opportunities for reducing food waste. Against this background, this study explored and quantified the packaging–food waste relationship in households. To explore this relationship, a multi-step method was applied to grasp the role of packaging in consumers’ everyday practices and routines. The method incorporated a questionnaire, food waste diary and in-depth interview to measure food waste across different food categories and explore the underlying reasons for food wastage. According to an analysis of 37 households, packaging played a significant role especially in bread, dairy, meat and staple food wastage. For countering this problem, the most important factors related to packaging are its size and display of detailed information about product safety and storage. This study's theoretical contribution lies in offering a service lens and an ‘outside-in’ approach for exploring the consumer's value creation process and providing a context for better understanding why food wastage occurs in households. For policymakers and packaging designers, this study provides new insights into the relationship between consumer food practices and packaging, thus informing future food waste reduction initiatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2020. Vol. 265, p. 1-14, article id 121775
Keywords [en]
Behaviour, Food waste, Household, Packaging, Packaging function, Service, Chemical contamination, Surveys, Sustainable development, In-depth interviews, Multi step methods, Packaging designers, Policy makers, Product safety, Social problems, Value creation process, Waste reduction
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems; Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-78209DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.121775ISI: 000552105600015Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85084076200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-78209DiVA, id: diva2:1440471
Available from: 2020-06-15 Created: 2020-06-15 Last updated: 2021-03-25Bibliographically approved

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Williams, HelénTrischler, JakobWikström, Fredrik

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