Previous Projects

Research period: March to September 2020

Funder: Eastern ARC

About this project:

In order to reduce our reliance on single use plastic, we need to understand the way decisions are made at a household level, and consider what interventions would be effective in changing this.

This project brings together researchers from the universities of Essex and Kent, together with a collaborator at Birkbeck, University of London, to do just that.

Building on their previous work on the behaviour patterns of consumption in households, the team will examine what part household decision making processes have in this.

Women are often responsible for making decisions about household goods and groceries, but there has been limited research on how ethical decisions are gendered with regards to plastics. This project will provide a much deeper understanding of this for policy-makers, retailers and producers.

Research period: To be added


About this project:

Why do some ethical behaviours fail to embed, and importantly what can be done about it?

In this project, we look at an example where ethical behaviour has not become the norm, i.e. the widespread, habitual use of ‘bags for life’.

Through an exploratory study, we unpack some of the contextual barriers which may influence ethical consumerism. We do this by examining the attitudes which influenced people to start using ‘bags for life’, and how people persuade others to use ‘bags for life’.

We use a case study analysis to try and understand why ethical behaviour change has stalled and not become sustained. We find that both individuals and institutions play a significant interaction role in encouraging a sustained behavioural change towards ethical consumerism.