VerPlaPoS

VerPlaPoS

Consumer Behavior Related to Plastic and its Avoidance at the Point of Sale
Description

Consumers buying products made of or wrapped in plastic play a decisive role in plastic consumption in Germany. A complete avoidance of plastic in everyday life, while unlikely to occur in full, would only be possible with extremely high restrictions. Moreover, many consumers are not aware of how much plastic is put into circulation or into the environment by buying a product. The consumer can, however, influence the use of plastics with targeted product selection at the point of sale (PoS) (e.g. the choice of plastic-free products).

Against this background, this project will investigate to what extent the consumer can avoid the generation of plastic waste by making a purchase decision at the PoS. Another aspect is to what extent help can be provided for this decision, e.g. through different avoidance strategies. This will be examined using food packaging and clothing textiles as examples. The former was chosen because food packaging has the highest capital costs for the environment in absolute terms (UNEP 2014). Textiles were chosen because they are made of plastic, a high proportion of synthetic fibres is used and a lot of plastic is produced by packaging the textiles.

Main areas of work

  • Investigating the understanding and behaviour of consumers when buying (or co-acquiring) plastics
  • Identification of plastic avoidance strategies along the textile and food supply chains
  • Holistic evaluation of different plastic alternatives (life cycle assessment)
  • Development of new products/processes that help to reduce plastic consumption/use
  • Information on product-specific plastic consumption using a plastic app

WP 1 Project coordination and project management

Contact person
Dr. Thomas Decker, Stadt Straubing, Theresienplatz 2, 94315 Straubing, e-mail: thomas.decker@straubing.de

Project partners
Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, General and Textile Industry Research Institute, University of Muenster, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, University of Stuttgart, Philipps-University Marburg, Ludwig Stocker Hofpfisterei GmbH

Short description
The City of Straubing will coordinate the consortium in the supervisory WP 1. This includes the coordination of content, operations (link between science and SMEs) and organisation (project meetings, telecons, reports, timetable, etc.). In addition, the City of Straubing is responsible for public relations (reciprocal and interactive communication with stakeholder groups in the study region and in Germany, presswork, Internet media, etc.).

WP 2 Consumer purchasing behavior when buying plastic articles

Contact person
Prof. Dr. Klaus Menrad, Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, Department of Marketing and Management of Renewable Resources, Petersgasse 18, 94315 Straubing, e-mail: klaus.menrad@hswt.de

Project partners
Stadt Straubing, Ludwig Stocker Hofpfisterei GmbH

Short description
The behaviour of customers in the shops of partners in the City of Straubing will be assessed in regard to food packaging and clothing textiles, with particular attention paid to plastic. The aim is, on the one hand, to capture the open, observable shopping and plastic behaviour of consumers. On the other hand, the knowledge and problem awareness in plastic matters shall be determined. Furthermore, common themes will also be examined when purchasing plastic-packed food or textiles.

WP 3 What role does plastic play in commerce?

Contact person
Dr. Thomas Decker, Stadt Straubing, Theresienplatz 2, 94315 Straubing, e-mail: thomas.decker@straubing.de

Project partners
Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, Ludwig Stocker Hofpfisterei GmbH

Short description
The respective offer at the PoS is very important for consumers' purchasing decisions. For this reason, the assortment of practical partners in the food and textile commerce as well as the disposal routes of plastic waste produced in shops are being investigated. This provides a business level overview of the respective volume of plastic. The selected shops are examples of different types of food retailing and textile merchandise management.

WP 4 Plastics along the value chain

Contact person
Sven Sängerlaub, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, Giggenhauser Straße 35, 85354 Freising, e-mail: sven.saengerlaub@ivv.fraunhofer.de

Short description
The aim of this work package is to obtain a general overview of the occurrence and use of plastics (especially intermediate packaging) in the supply chains for textiles, with a focus on functional textiles and men’s fashion, and foodstuffs. The aim is to investigate the areas in which the use of plastic is necessary and where it can be reduced or avoided. Thus, there are various possibilities within the value chains to reduce or avoid the use of plastics, e.g. by optimizing the transport packaging systems between the individual stations.

WP 5 Development and provision of alternative packaging options

Contact person
Sven Sängerlaub, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, Giggenhauser Straße 35, 85354 Freising, e-mail:sven.saengerlaub@ivv.fraunhofer.de

Project partners
Stadt Straubing, University of Stuttgart, Ludwig Stocker Hofpfisterei GmbH

Short description
For the practical testing of alternative packaging and communication with retailers and end customers, suitable materials are being developed, samples produced and appropriate specifications drawn up for incoming and outgoing processes for manufacture and recycling. Various packaging alternatives for the food sector are then manufactured at IVV on a pilot-plant scale for pilot applications or produced by industrial partners. These patterns represent different approaches to avoid or reduce the use of plastics.

WP 6 Avoidance of plastic along the entire textile supply chain

Contact person
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schewe, University of Münster, Chair of Business Administration, Universitätsstraße 14–16, 48143 Münster, e-mail: orga@wiwi.uni-muenster.de

Project partners
Stadt Straubing, University of Stuttgart

Short description
Within the scope of a business case, innovative strategies are developed for analysing the entire textile supply chain regarding avoidable plastic use, together with practice partners from the textile industry. First the object of investigation is defined and delineated to provide a specification sheet for the analysis of the actual state, for the formulation of the target state under consideration of cost positions, for monetary advantages, and non-monetary aspects, and for functional, and nonfunctional requirements.

WP 7 Innovative recycling strategies for the textile sector

Contact person
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schewe, University of Münster, Chair of Business Administration, Universitätsstraße 14–16, 48143 Münster, e-mail: orga@wiwi.uni-muenster.de

Project partners
Stadt Straubing, University of Stuttgart

Short description
For the unavoidable use of plastics in the textile supply chain, sustainable recycling strategies are developed in a business case in cooperation with practice partners from the textile commerce who see plastics as a promising resource for innovative manufacturing and production processes (for the areas of men’s fashion and functional textiles). The focus is on additive manufacturing processes (colloquially: 3D printing) that offer innovative recycling solutions across divisions and industries thus forming a link to the research area of food packaging.

WP 8 Context-specific life cycle analysis of the product examples

Contact person
Dr.-Ing. Stefan Albrecht, University of Stuttgart, Faculty 2: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Institute for Acoustics and Building Physics (IABP), Department of Life Cycle Engineering, Wankelstraße 5, 70563 Stuttgart, e-mail: gabi@iabp.uni-stuttgart.de

Project partners
Stadt Straubing, Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, General and Textile Industry Research Institute, University of Muenster, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, University of Stuttgart, Philipps-University Marburg, Ludwig Stocker Hofpfisterei GmbH

Short description
Which global problems are caused by plastics along their supply chain and how severe are these? This question is answered by means of a context-specific analysis with regard to the entire life cycle of possible product solutions (textile, food) or plastics (e.g. food packaging) and the entire range of problems based on the life cycle assessment method and information from the previous work packages. Various practice partners from the textile and food commerce provide support.

WP 9 Testing "new solutions"

Contact person
Prof. Dr. Klaus Menrad, Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, Department of Marketing and Management of Renewable Resources, Petersgasse 18, 94315 Straubing, e-mail: klaus.menrad@hswt.de

Project partners
Stadt Straubing, General and Textile Industry Research Institute, University of Muenster, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, University of Stuttgart, Philipps-University Marburg, Ludwig Stocker Hofpfisterei GmbH

Short description
The newly developed products/solutions of WP 5 and 6 are verified for consumer acceptance and tested in the stores of partner companies in the food and textile industry for a period of two weeks. In addition to the sales figures, further consumer reactions will also be collected in 300 personal interviews. The developed app (Android and iOS version) will also be included in the test and tested for applicability.

WP 10 Elaboration and documentation of practice-oriented recommendations for action

Contact persons
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schewe, University of Münster, Chair of Business Administration, Universitätsstraße 14–16, 48143 Münster,  e-mail: orga@wiwi.uni-muenster.de

Sven Sängerlaub, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, Giggenhauser Straße 35, 85354 Freising, e-mail:sven.saengerlaub@ivv.fraunhofer.de

Prof. Dr. Klaus Menrad, Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, Department of Marketing and Management of Renewable Resources, Petersgasse 18, 94315 Straubing, e-mail: klaus.menrad@hswt.de

Project partners
Stadt Straubing, Philipps-University Marburg, Ludwig Stocker Hofpfisterei GmbH

Short description
Based on the results obtained, recommendations for action will be formulated for the industries examined and then summarised into compact documentation. The recommendations for action are derived in close coordination with all partners and on the basis of the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and risks of the solutions and strategies jointly identified throughout the course of the project. The aim is to achieve a clear impact assessment for the solutions and strategies developed and thus contribute to a reduction in use of plastics on the consumer side.

Case Studies

Several case studies in the areas of food packaging and textiles are conducted within this project. For example, alternative packaging variants are developed for the following areas: service packaging, bowls/trays and bags for baked goods. These packaging alternatives will be tested in the course of the project with regard to "quality", ”consumer acceptance” and for improvement of the "plastic index".

In the field of textiles, innovative strategies for the analysis of the entire textile supply chain to identify avoidable use of plastics are established together with practice partners. In addition, sustainable recycling strategies are developed that consider plastics as a promising resource for innovative manufacturing and production processes (for men's fashion and functional textiles). The focus is on additive manufacturing processes (colloquially: 3D printing) that offer innovative recycling solutions across divisions and industries.

( top of page )( zum Seitenanfang )