Reviving the milk man: Consumers’ evaluations of circular reusable packaging offers

L.B.M. Magnier, I. Gil-Pérez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


The question of prolonging the lifetime of food packages before they are disposed of has largely been overlooked. Yet, reusing packaging could bring interesting environmental benefits. In this research, we take a consumer perspective and test whether returnable packaging for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) has the potential to be adopted by consumers. The results of two experimental studies show that evaluations of returnable packaging are generally positive. Consumers
perceive returnable packages as much more eco-friendly than their disposable counterparts, and the product inside as more qualitative even though the tested products were sensitive (i.e. yoghurt and ice-cream). In addition, they are more likely to recommend a product sold in a returnable packaging and high environmentally concerned individuals are more likely to repurchase it. However, when signs of usage resulting from multiple uses were introduced on the returnable packaging, attitudes were
generally less positive and individuals were also less likely to recommend and repurchase the product. These results highlight the importance of downplaying the negative effects of signs of usage in the
design of returnable packaging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th Conference on Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE)
EditorsC. Fitzpatrick
PublisherUniversity of Limerick
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventPLATE 2021: the 4th Conference on Product Lifetimes and the Environment - Virtual conference at Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 26 May 202128 May 2021
Conference number: 4th


ConferencePLATE 2021
CityVirtual conference at Limerick
Internet address


  • Circular Economy
  • Cities
  • Collaboration
  • Engagement
  • Scaling Innovation


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