No Plastic Bags : the Influence of Different Factors on Consumer Attitudes Towards an Environmental Initiative

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Environmental issues have within the recent years become a frequently debated matter and corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a new determinant for consumers purchase decisions. As a consequence of this, ever more companies have begun to implement different CSR initiatives in order to take responsibility for the environment. The arguments differ among researchers whether it is actually profitable for companies to invest in CSR initiatives.

In this study we have based upon the functional theory of attitudes and identified different factors that are likely to affect consumer attitudes towards an environmental CSR initiative and formed a model for this. The model postulates four main factors that are likely to affect consumers attitudes towards an environmental initiative; which attitude a consumer holds towards the actual product (in this case the paper bags) in question, the extent to which a consumer considers environmental responsibility to be important, the extent to which a consumer considers environmental issues to be a threat to her-/himself and the amount of information a consumer receives about the initiative. To test our model we used a quantitative approach and investigated the consumer attitudes towards the initiative no plastic bags at the shopping centre Strömpilen, Umeå.

We found that consumers in general are very positive towards the initiative. We then looked closer into what parts of our model that had significant impact on consumer attitudes towards the concept. The Chi-Square tests showed that three of four parts in the model could be verified. These parts were; the consumer’s attitude towards the actual product (in this case the paper bag), how important environmental responsibility is to a consumer and to what extent a consumer sees environmental issues as a threat to her-/himself. The fourth part of the model; the amount of information a consumer has received could not be verified. Thus the model was modified and was in the...
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