Acceptability and Societal Impact of the Introduction of Bioplastics as Novel Environmentally Friendly Packaging Materials in Ireland
- Iterative stakeholder mapping
- Semi-structured interviews
- Qualitative analysis through peer debriefing and affinity mapping
- Design and deployment of quantitative survey instrument informed by the qualitative phase
- Quantitative analysis
- Combination of insights and triangulation of results
2.1. Iterative Stakeholder Mapping
- Initial stakeholders identified through prior knowledge and literature review
- Collaborative mapping with initial stakeholders to identify their stakeholders until no new stakeholders are uncovered at that level
- Each stakeholder analysed in terms of their tasks, pains and gains with regards to a change in packaging materials
2.2. Semi-Structured Interviews
- Thematic areas for enquiry identified from stakeholder mapping and interview candidates identified
- Interviews conducted through a series of open questions and recorded through notetaking
- Data analysis through peer debriefing and affinity mapping techniques
2.3. Survey Instrument
- Instrument design and target cohort informed by qualitative study
- Instrument piloted with a representative 10% of the target cohort and adjusted and validated
- Survey was deployed using Google forms (Google LLC 2018, California, USA).
2.4. Statistical Analysis
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Stakeholder Mapping
- Confusion as a prevalent theme across all groups, leading to a lack of confidence which may in turn factor in to reported poor compliance.
- Each group perceived barriers to adoption existing with other stakeholders and many of these cited barriers to adoption were based on assumption.
- General desire or pressure to migrate to more sustainable packaging products with a broad recognition that the status quo cannot persist.
- Lack of clarity regarding framework or structure to allow largescale migration to compostable material.
- Packaging films were highlighted as the area with most positive potential and confusion of the current recycling stream was highlighted as a risk.
- Uncertainty regarding technical barriers to entry centred on scalability and security of supply coupled with a recognition of high capital and process development costs associated with the adoption of a new material. Therefore, high confidence in material characterisation required.
3.3. Discussion of Qualitative Findings
- Consumer relationship with, and perceptions of, single-use packaging material
- Perceptions and reported behaviours regarding the separation of waste
- Perceptions and knowledge regarding onward waste management
- Knowledge and attitudes around existing or potential biodegradable packaging solutions
Conflicts of Interest
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|Stakeholder Group||Number of Stakeholders Interviewed|
|Raw material/ plastic production and Packaging production||4 (of which 2 raw material/plastic production and 2 packaging production)|
|Retailers (Packaging handling, transport and storage)||12 (of which 2 are artisans, 4 and small/medium companies and 6 and large companies)|
|Consumer (Packaged product use and discarding)||10 (consumers across different age, gender and social group)|
|Packaging waste management and composting||5 (linked with both composting as with recycling)|
|Policy involvement||3 (of which 1 senator, 2 local politicians?)|
|Environmental activists and educators||4 (of which 3 members of an environmental group, 1 science and nature convenor)|
|Stakeholder Group||Key Points|
|Raw material/ plastic production and Packaging production||Confusion about new directives||R&D working on alternatives and lack of alternatives to fit current machinery||Cost of production|
|Retailers (Packaging handling, transport and storage)||Confusion about new directives and confusion about what the consumers want||Lack of alternative that fit products necessity||Marketing of environmentally friendly packaged products to increase consumer purchase||Cost of packaging|
|Consumer (Packaged product use and discarding)||Confusion about how and where to separate their waste||Cost of product|
|Packaging waste management and composting||Confusion from consumers on how and where to separate their waste||Lack of alternative that decomposes with rest of compost|
|Policy involvement||Confusion from companies about new directives|
|Environmental activists and educators||Confusion from consumers on how and where to separate their waste||Marketing/influencers/education|
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Neves, A.C.; Moyne, M.M.; Eyre, C.; Casey, B.P. Acceptability and Societal Impact of the Introduction of Bioplastics as Novel Environmentally Friendly Packaging Materials in Ireland. Clean Technol. 2020, 2, 127-143. https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010009
Neves AC, Moyne MM, Eyre C, Casey BP. Acceptability and Societal Impact of the Introduction of Bioplastics as Novel Environmentally Friendly Packaging Materials in Ireland. Clean Technologies. 2020; 2(1):127-143. https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010009Chicago/Turabian Style
Neves, Adriana C., Martina M. Moyne, Colin Eyre, and Brian P. Casey. 2020. "Acceptability and Societal Impact of the Introduction of Bioplastics as Novel Environmentally Friendly Packaging Materials in Ireland" Clean Technologies 2, no. 1: 127-143. https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010009