Plastic bottles

PPiPL: Plastic Packaging in People’s Lives

Shifting attitudes and behaviour around plastic food packaging

The Plastic Packaging in Peoples’ Lives project (PPiPL) focuses on how plastic food packaging is embedded in consumers’ day-to-day lives.

It aims to gather behavioural insights to enable policymakers and industry to bridge the gap between consumer attitudes to plastic packaging reduction and their behaviour.

Taking the food sector as an exemplar, our research will examine the whole packaging supply chain, from production through consumption through waste disposal.

Over the three-year project, our aim is to shift behaviours around plastic packaging by developing insights into consumer, business and waste management practices. We aim to tackle key pinch points inhibiting the drive towards cleaner, greener growth.


Find out how PPiPL works with packaging manufacturers and retailers can help improve consumer behaviour towards plastics.

Our Goals

  • To produce a comprehensive overview of socio-cultural, historical and industrial conditions, public preferences, post-consumer pathways and legal structures feeding the perceived legitimacy of plastic packaging in the UK.  
  • To provide an in-depth understanding of plastic packaging consumption and disposal within UK households.
  • To explore how the public interprets information about packaging and its social and economic impacts. To identify sources of public concern that prevent adoption or purchase of smart & sustainable alternatives.  
  • To understand the response of supply chains to customer attitudes and behaviours related to plastic packaging.  
  • To enter discourse with supply chain actors around the attitude-behaviour gap, as a mechanism for collaboration to drive change.
  • To explore plastic waste management and disposal practices.  
  • To explore how our findings can help to create real-world impact on consumer and business behaviours.  

Project Impact

PPiPL speaks directly to the UK's Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge objectives. It will clarify social and cultural attitudes to plastic packaging and unpick consumer and business behaviours regarding plastic use.

Working with stakeholders along the supply chain, we will provide valuable insights to increase collaboration and share understanding along the UK food plastic packaging supply chain in order to create a sense of shared responsibility and improved packaging options.

A picnic table with food on it, in plastic bags

PPiPL - Pilot project Malaysia

Researchers from Lancaster University and Sunway University in Malaysia are exploring plastic packaging consumption and disposal within Malaysian households and recycling agency.

MY collage

The PPiPL "Little Book of Plastics in Everyday Life" is live!

The purpose of this Little Book is to provide a holistic but condensed overview of the key aspects of plastics as they are produced, consumed and disposed of in contemporary consumer culture. We centre attention not just on the materiality of plastics but also on their meanings and how they come to be experienced and lived with in daily life.
This work is part of NERC Discipline Hopping for Environmental Solutions at Lancaster.

Little Book of Plastics in Everyday Life


The PPiPL is a member of RECOUP


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