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Are consumers concerned about plastic water bottles environmental impact?


  • Caroline Orset
  • Nicolas Barret
  • Aurélien Lemaire


Although plastic induces environmental damages, almost all water bottles are made from plastic. However, these damages are more or less significant according to the plastic used. This study evaluates the consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for different plastics used for water packaging. Successive messages emphasizing the characteristics of plastic are delivered to participants allowing explaining information influence on the consumers' WTP. We find that information has a significant effect on WTP. The participants' WTP for plastic bottles tends to increase after information emphasizing that the related plastic bottles has no negative impact on the environment, and to decrease with information on its negative impact. Using a fixed effect panel model, we show that there is a significant premium for recycled plastic bottles except when biodegradable plastic bottles are present on the market. We compare the welfare effects of regulatory policies allowing reducing environmental damages of plastic water bottles. We get that information campaign on plastic bottles issues would be the best policy whether it would not be difficult to implement it in practice. Then we discuss about other environmental policies and tools which could be applied in order to reduce plastic water bottles negative impact on the environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline Orset & Nicolas Barret & Aurélien Lemaire, 2015. "Are consumers concerned about plastic water bottles environmental impact?," Working Papers 2015/01, INRA, Economie Publique.
  • Handle: RePEc:apu:wpaper:2015/01

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    Biodegradable plastic bottles; bioplastic bottles; information campaign; recycling plastic bottles; regulatory instruments; consumer's willingness to pay;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy


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