Research Proposal: Consumer Attitudes Towards Green Packaged Products in the UK

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Consumer Attitudes towards Green Packaged Products in the UK

The concept of green packaging is increasingly gaining much importance in the current modern world. The term green packaging has been used to imply planning, developing and promoting services and products that fulfill consumer needs without affecting the environment. This study has made an effort towards knowing the level of consumer and retailer attitudes towards green packaged products in the UK. This paper will study the levels of attitudes towards green packaged products amongst consumers and retailers, factors that affect consumer-purchasing behavior of green packed products. Finally, the paper will offer some recommendations to promote green packaged products amongst consumers and retailers in the UK (Verghese, Lewis & Fitzpatrick, 2012).

Introduction

Gelinas (2006) has provided a detailed explanation showing a witnessed rapid economic expansion through increased global consumer consumption. In turn, this trend had been causing environmental deterioration via over utilization and consumption of natural resources. Environmental degradation leads to impacts like the ozone layer depletion, global warming, pollution of rivers and seas, light and noise pollution, desertification, and acid rains. Reports indicate that approximately forty percent of environmental degradation is occasioned by private household consumption activities. With the worsening environmental condition, it is increasingly becoming a pertinacious public concern across the developed nations. Moreover, this has served as an awakening call for developing nations to the green lobbying for environmental preservation.

Lindgreen, Hingley, and Vanhamme (2009) have shown firms trying to achieve the primary objectives of embracing sustainable business practices. They include building prolonged profitable customer relationship and customer satisfaction to sustain their businesses in the current competitive marketplace. While social and political pressures are on the increase, many corporations have embraced green packaging strategies and are exploiting these environmental concerns as a source of added advantage. Profit-oriented organizations are often motivated to embrace the green packaging concept in their operations when their clients have high environmental attitude levels. This has translated into a commitment towards environmental friendly purchasing. In this regard, many firms have begun to be more socially responsible to address waste and pollution disposals through designing environmental friendly packaging and have put notable efforts to conform to the environmental movement. Nevertheless, these firms are facing some great challenges including claims of suspicion of green advertising and high investment costs associated with developing green products. It also includes changing consumer preferences and unfavorable consumer perceptions towards green packaging. Therefore, it is important to explore how the consumer in UK views the environmental concerns and their behaviors towards environmentally friendly or green products (Abele, Anderl & Birkhofer, 2005).

Literature review

Green packaging is popularly known as environmental marketing or sustainable marketing. This has been defined as the efforts made by companies in designing, promoting, pricing and distributing in a manner promoting environmental protection. Green packaging encompasses all activities designated to facilitate and generate any exchanges that seek to fulfill human wants or needs such that when these needs are met, it results into minimal adverse environmental impacts (Sadgrove, 2007).

Green Marketing

Modern business considers green packaging as one of the leading trend. Apart from the above definition of green packaging, other scholars have proposed that green packaging is defined as inclusive of ecological marketing, social marketing, or environmental marketing. Denison & Ren (2001) proposed green packaging by businesses via positioning the environmental advantages of green products to the mindset of consumers to influence their buying behavior. In actual sense, firms pursuing green packaging meet various challenges mainly from the unfavorable consumer attitudes, variability of demand and high costs. The major concern if found in the consumers' understanding of green packaging and the characteristics of green products to enable companies develop new segmentation and target strategies (Grunert, Thogersen & O-lander, 2005).

Green products and green consumers

Green products refer to environmental friendly products or ecological products. These are products, which do not deplore natural resources or pollute the earth, and can undergo recycling or conservation. These products are friendlier to the environment; their packaging reduces adverse impacts on the environment. This means that green packaging has incorporated recycling strategies, reduces packaging, and favors the use of less toxic materials, which reduces the effect on the natural environment. Denison and Ren (2001) in their research established that consumers are becoming more concerned about their daily lifestyles and its environmental impact. This has resulted in some consumers translating their everyday habits into active purchase of green products. Consumers who are interested and are aware of environmental issues are referred to as green consumers. Usually, green consumers have a tendency of organizing petitions, boycotting manufacturers and actively lobbying for environmental conservation. Consumers are likely to accept green packaging if their primary needs for convenience, affordability, quality, and performance is met. Further, they will only give a positive response to green packaging when they understand how green purchasing will solve environmental problems. The current knowledge gap on the values and uses of green products has prevented consumers from being committed to green purchasing behavior (Abele, Anderl & Birkhofer, 2005).

Behavior-Attitude link

Consumer behavior experts have always believed that an individual's attitudes can be potential determinate of the person's actions. Behaviorists have made notable attempts to of improving the ability to predict the actions of an individual as either situational or dispositional. Behavior prediction has been directly dependent on consumers' attitudes based on the personal experience and knowledge of consumers. Researchers have conducted extensive research studies on the impact of attitudes and beliefs of consumer purchasing behaviors. In addition, research studies focusing on the topic indicates that if consumer attitudes could be indicators of consumer buying behavior, then we have to sort out a battery of methodological issues. We must measure attitudes and behaviors at the similar corresponding levels. Researchers have postulated a series of theories explaining the procedure by which attitudes are used to predict Consumer behavior (Farnworth, Jiggins & Thomas, 2008).

From the reasoned action theory, the implications of people's actions are considered before these people engage or disengage in a certain behavior. Therefore, this theory suggests that consumers' attitudes play an integral role in the formation of intentions to act in a certain manner. Primarily, this model maintains that people tend to engage in processes that result in the formation of intentions, norms, and attitudes before they perform any action. On the other hand, the reasoned action theory is not the only theory dealing with behaviors and attitudes of people. Besides, attitudes provide guidance to behavior via spontaneous and automatic procedures instead of a deliberate action. Moreover, other researchers also argue that there are certain conditions, which attitudes and behaviors must be consistent. These include when perceptions are influenced by attitudes: an individual forming a favorable or unfavorable attitude towards certain objectives (Charter, 2009).

Research objectives

The study seeks to gain an understanding on the concept of green packaging and conduct some literature reviews of relevant studies dealing with the concept. Additionally, this study seeks to identify the prevailing interrelationship between green packaging and the various consumer attitudes.

Research method

This will be a conceptual study into consumer attitudes towards green packaged products in the UK. Therefore, the researcher intends to adopt a qualitative research strategy. According to Lamb, Hair & McDaniel (2012), there are no dependent and independent variables involved in this research because naturally, qualitative strategies are not based on experiments. Grunert, Thogersen & O-lander (2005), maintains that when it comes to conceptual studies, it is of utmost importance to review previous studies done on the same topic. Through a qualitative approach, this study will engage an elastic procedure during which the researcher can make adjustments and incorporate the changes in the study. This research will be based purely on a qualitative approach as the study encompasses a dependent variable; how consumers perceive green packaging, and its impact on an independent variable; behavior and attitude towards green consumption.

A timetable setting

This study will be conducted according to the following timeline:

Topic selection: 01/05/2013

Obtain literature: 10/05/2013

Deciding on research: 30/05/2013

Hypothesis: 02/06/2013

Complete literature review: 02/07/2013

Deciding on research methodology: 09/07/2013

Complete proposal: 19/07/2013

Research project completion: 18/09/2013

Proposal

Revising proposal: 19/10/2013

Proposal approved: 15/11/2013

Data collection: 30/11/2013

Analyze data: 12/01/2014

First research draft: 10/02/2014

Submission of the revised draft: 25/02/2014

Submit master research project: 10/02/2014

Approval

Limitations

This study will experience a number of limitations. Therefore, we will use the findings of this study with much caution because the exploratory study sample will be undergraduate students. This study will use a cross section involving the UK population. This study will also include consumers with knowledge on environmental conservation; it is fundamental for the government to acknowledge the importance of the environment to its people hence foster a fostering a favorable attitude towards the environment among UK consumers. In addition, this study will devote attention to diagnose the possible effectiveness of consumers on green packaging attitudes. In addition, the research is supposed to incorporate a comparison between the personal norms of consumers' attitudes and green packaging. This study has… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/consumer-attitudes-towards-green-packaged/7580350.