Perceived environmental sustainability of alternative packaging systems for beverages (glass bottle, plastic bottle, and aluminium cans) was surveyed from a sample of young Italian consumers. Contemporarily, actual environmental sustainability of the same packaging alternatives was evaluated thorough life cycle assessment (LCA). Glass bottles were perceived as the most environmentally sound, while plastic bottles were retained the worst perceived option. However, LCA showed that glass packaging was the worst option both in terms of midpoint impact categories as well as macro-categories of damage. Specific indicators defined to compare perceived and actual sustainability confirmed that the environmental sustainability of glass bottles was widely overestimated by the respondents for both midpoint and endpoint environmental issues. About recycling and sustainability there is a misperception by consumers that could be due to a lack or incorrect communication between the scientific community and citizens. Therefore, effective communication programs are needed to enable consumers to move beyond their prejudices.

Comparison between perceived and actual environmental sustainability: the case of beverage packaging

Giovanni De Feo
;
Carmen Ferrara;
2022

Abstract

Perceived environmental sustainability of alternative packaging systems for beverages (glass bottle, plastic bottle, and aluminium cans) was surveyed from a sample of young Italian consumers. Contemporarily, actual environmental sustainability of the same packaging alternatives was evaluated thorough life cycle assessment (LCA). Glass bottles were perceived as the most environmentally sound, while plastic bottles were retained the worst perceived option. However, LCA showed that glass packaging was the worst option both in terms of midpoint impact categories as well as macro-categories of damage. Specific indicators defined to compare perceived and actual sustainability confirmed that the environmental sustainability of glass bottles was widely overestimated by the respondents for both midpoint and endpoint environmental issues. About recycling and sustainability there is a misperception by consumers that could be due to a lack or incorrect communication between the scientific community and citizens. Therefore, effective communication programs are needed to enable consumers to move beyond their prejudices.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4806811
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