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Success and Failure Factors for the Adoption of Bio-Based Packaging
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.). UPM, PoliMi.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to provide insight into the factors that determine the willingness of key market players in the Indian food industry to adopt bio-based plastic packaging. First, the key market players are identified within the important market segments in the specified industry. After the identification of key players, the literature is surveyed in the context of eco-innovations, innovation adoption in emerging countries and Roger’s market adoption theory. In addition, the sustainability point of packaging and its perceived attributes are elaborated on and analyzed using the selected framework.


Semi-structured interviews with the key market players in the food packaging industry are conducted in the context of adoption theory. The results of the survey reveal that there are only two groups in the industry, those that are currently considering bio-based plastic packaging and those that have not yet considered it. Due to the low number of completed questionnaires, advanced multivariate statistical methods cannot be used for data analysis. Nevertheless, the questionnaire is used in the analysis section; for further investigation of important concepts, semi-structured interviews are performed which clarify the environmental strategies and programs of players in the market who expect opportunities for CO2, material, water and energy reduction to emerge in both the short-term and long-term. Their responses also underscore the increasing importance of “Life Cycle Assessment” in decision-making, i.e., as factors that determine the willingness of especially brand owners to adopt bio-based plastic packaging. However, the contribution of bio-based materials to these sustainability programs has not been clearly perceived as a positive attribute. Moreover, there is no significant indication that supports the use of bio-based materials in comparison to conventional plastics regarding the implemented cases of some life cycle assessments. Last but not least, the packaging material is perceived as being highly cost sensitive. One of the important findings is that market players are not willing to pay a premium price for packaging material merely on the basis of it being environmental friendly; therefore, it is necessary to add value to ensure the potential adoption of these environmental materials. Moreover, this obstacle may be overcome with the help of decreased cost by economies of scale in the bio-packaging materials.


This thesis concludes by emphasizing that value chain alignment is necessary, originating from the raw material to the end of recycling, for potentially adopted bio-based packaging material. This alignment can be stimulated by legislation; however, in some European countries, there is no signal detected to the contrary specifically for this industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 104 p.
Keyword [en]
Bio-based packaging, adoption of eco-innovation, technology transformation, emerging economy
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-124577OAI: diva2:636875
Subject / course
Industrial Economics and Management
Educational program
Master of Science - Industrial Engineering and Management
2013-06-27, Aula Magna, Politecnico di Milano, Como, Italy,22100, Como. Italy, 12:00 (English)

ID number 2013:131

Available from: 2013-08-09 Created: 2013-07-13 Last updated: 2013-08-09Bibliographically approved

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