Consumer Preferences for Eco-Friendly Attributes in Disposable Dinnerware
Gill, MacKenzie, K. L. Jensen, D. M. Lambert, S. Upendram, B. C. English, N. Labbé, S. jackson, and R. J. Menard.  2020.  Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 161, October 2020, 104965.

Paper cups and plates are landfilled at a rate of 40 percent, and landfill rates on plastic disposable dinnerware are even higher at around 80 percent in the United States (US). This study examines influences on consumer preferences for single-use disposable dinnerware with the attributes: compostable, recyclable, uses no trees, contains no plastic, USDA certified biobased, made from agricultural crop byproduct cellulose, cellulose from dedicated crops, and/or from organically sourced cellulose. A Multiple Indicator Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model is used, along with data from 206 consumers, to estimate the effects of demographics, expenditures, and attitudes on propensity to prefer eco-friendly attributes in disposable dinnerware. The attributes ‘no plastic’ and ‘recyclable’ appealed to consumers over the widest range of preferences for eco-friendly attributes in disposable dinnerware. However, ‘no trees’ and ‘USDA Certified Biobased’ appeared to appeal to a more specialized segment with the strongest preferences for eco-friendly attributes. Demographic characteristics including gender, residential location, household income, and household composition also correlated with preferences for single use products made with eco-friendly production practices.