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Purchasing habits and influencing factors when purchasing unpackaged survey findings

In order to counteract the problem of the constantly growing volume of packaging in Germany, the Federal Government has promoted the strategy of waste avoidance over other strategies such as reuse, recycling and recovery or disposal strategies of packaging waste in the waste hierarchy of the Circular Economy Act. The idea of waste avoidance through packaging elimination is also becoming increasingly popular in the retail trade, and today there is a packaging-free store in every major city in Germany.

With regard to finding out to what extent the packaging elimination is viable for the future as an innovative packaging solution and has the potential to expand, customers were asked about their opinion of shopping for unpackaged products. Customers play a key role in the implementation of new packaging solutions. The focus of the survey was on purchasing habits and transportation, factors that inhibit and encourage un-packaged shopping and reuse solutions.

The results of the survey include 1) the confirmation of a broad acceptance of unpackaged solutions among customers; 2) the identification of an attitude-behaviour-gap among proponents of packaging-free shopping; 3) the identification of inhibiting factors of shopping in the unpackaged store such as distance, price and limited product choice and 4) an assessment of reusable solutions from the customer's perspective, which indicates a high degree of receptiveness towards bringing own containers. In the further course of the project, it will be investigated which further success factors and barriers are associated with the implementation of new packaging solutions and which concrete packaging innovations are suitable for a cross-industry expansion.