Technological watch

Intention to Purchase Milk Packaged in Biodegradable Packaging: Evidence from Italian Consumers

The dairy industry generates large volumes of liquid waste that can be used to produce biopolymers, potentially employable for the creation of milk biodegradable bottles. In that regard, this paper aims to explore the consumers’ intention to purchase sustainable packages, as well as to assess the willingness to pay for it considering renewable packages made using organic waste feedstocks from the dairy industry (e.g., whey) and plant-based material (e.g., corn, sugarcane, etc.). To reach the stated objectives, we collected individual-level information (e.g., age, gender, education, income) from a convenient sample of 260 Italian consumers and a modified version of the Theory of Planned Behavior estimated using a structural equation model. Findings show that attitudes and perceived behavioral control are the most important drivers of the consumers’ intention to purchase sustainable packages. Finally, statistics show that respondents slightly prefer to purchase products packaged using plant-based biodegradable material, as well as most of the respondents show a low willingness to pay for milk offered in biodegradable packaging, regardless of the raw material used. Then, policymakers and companies should invest in educational/informational campaigns pointing out the beneficial effects on the environment from the purchase of foods in sustainable packaging. This may potentially increase the consumers’ intention to purchase, as well as their willingness to pay for plant-based and dairy whey-based packages by increasing the sustainability of the dairy supply chain.

Publication date: 02/09/2021

Author: Antonella Cammarelle

Reference: doi: 10.3390/foods10092068

MDPI (foods)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.