Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Singh, L.C. (2008). Degradable plastics in the marketplace. Unpublished master's thesis for Master's degree, University of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad.
This project was designed to determine the consumer’s response to degradable plastics in the marketplace by (1) investigating their willingness to use degradable plastic products and (2) determining if the offer of certain incentives would encourage their willingness to use degradable plastic products.
It was found that at least 63% of the population of consumers of plastic products in Trinidad and Tobago are willing to use degradable plastic products without the influence of incentives, primarily because of a shared a concern for the environment and an appreciation of the perceived environmental damages that non-degradable plastics cause. A general lack of concern and a lack of understanding about degradable plastic as a product, including its properties, applications and mechanisms of degradation in the environment were listed by the remaining 37% of the population as the reasons for the resistance of degradable plastics in the local marketplace. It was determined however that these consumers could be encouraged to use degradable plastic products by a combination of one or more of the same factors which have been found to drive international markets for degradable products: (1) an awareness of the impacts of plastics in the evironment and the environmental benefits that could be derived from using degradable plastics, (2) competitive pricing of degradable plastics with ‘traditional’ non-degradable ones, (3) an assurance of the end product quality and performance of degradable plastic products compared to ‘traditional’ non-degradable ones, and/or (4) the ease with which degradable plastic products could be made available and accessible to the consumer.
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