Deliverable 4.2 - Social aspects: report on social barriers and/or driving forces

Abstract:

Producing bioplastic from food waste and sludge determines a strong social impact along the entire value chain: for example, separate collection of organic waste should be implemented at high rate to have a successful process, then, waste management to produce products will determine new jobs positions and market opportunities, while products, originated from waste, need to be accepted by buyers…… so, an entire value chain needs to be studied. All these impacts need to be properly addressed and defined.
In particular, although the product originated from organic waste is designed to be similar to a new product produced from virgin materials, it is very important to understand if the consumers are available to switch from traditional products and to identify potential drivers of (or barriers to) the acceptance of bio-waste products that comes from urban bio-waste; the results of our study help in that direction.
In this framework, a preliminary study was carried out to define the impacts of the value chain and its acceptability while the acceptance of consumers for waste derived products was analysed by means of specific questionnaires. In particular, in this part of the study, the UK was considered as an example. Our findings show a general acceptance of consumers in the new and appropriate initiative, particularly in the tentative of transforming waste into a raw material suitable for bio-based plastics to replace traditional plastics.
Future research in other countries is planned in order to measure the acceptance of different products (e.g. plastic bags and crackers pack) generated from food waste in consideration of cultural and regional differences.