Preventing the overconsumption and disposal of refill at home fast-moving consumer goods - interventions that support circular consumer journeys

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Tassell, Catriona; Aurisicchio, Marco
Series: ICED
Institution: Imperial College London
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 2935-2944
DOI number:


Context and problem: Reuse is positioned as a strategy capable of countering single-use overconsumption and disposal. For refill at home FMCGs, consumers are responsible for carrying out behaviours that enable this, such as keeping and using products for a prolonged period. However, it is not known if consumers actually fulfil these responsibilities. Aim: This research aims to understand the extent to which consumer reuse behaviours supports the intended reduction in impact and, if not, consider how best to improve it. Method: In-depth interviews with 15 consumers were conducted where the behaviour chain method was used to map resource journeys for 31 refill at home offerings. Results: Five models of consumer behaviour increased the impact of reuse. The critical moments which led consumers to carry out these behaviours were identified, uncovering intervention areas. Conclusions: The behaviour models and critical moments offer a first attempt to systematically analyse how and where actual consumer behaviour can increase the impact of refill at home FMCGs. The results call for focussed interventions across the consumer journey that support reuse components as part of a system.

Keywords: Circular economy, Human behaviour in design, Refill at home, Sustainability, Fast-moving consumer goods

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