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Design affordance of plastic food packaging for consumer sorting behavior
Resources, Conservation and Recycling  (IF10.204),  Pub Date : 2021-10-14, DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2021.105949
Babak Nemat, Mohammad Razzaghi, Kim Bolton, Kamran Rousta

This research aims to understand why consumers miss-sort plastic food packaging and to what extent the design affordance of packaging can influence consumer sorting behavior. A photo-based observation study and semi-structured interviews were used to gain a deeper understanding of the miss-sorting behavior and how it could be affected by design affordance. This explorative study suggested that the packaging form, size, durability, haptic aspects, and visual communicative properties influence how consumers perceive the value of packaging. This is important, because packaging with low attributed values are not considered worth recycling or correctly sorted and are more likely to be miss-sorted. Hence, a well-afforded food packaging design is expected to improve how consumers perceive the value of packaging and to consequently improve sorting behavior.