Waste is not waste until it is wasted: The framing of plastic food packaging and how this is being contested by zero-waste stores in the Netherlands

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Plastic pollution causes major problems to both the environment and human health. Even though, the highest demand for plastic concerns plastic used for food packaging, plastic remains the dominant packaging material. This research therefore focused on the framing of plastic food packaging and how this is being contested by zero-waste actors. The main aim is to explore how zero-waste actors engage with a theory of change around plastic reduction and to gain insight into how the food supply chain without plastic could be realised. Multiple research methods have been used to gather the relevant data. First, through use of secondary data analysis, an understanding of the concept of framing is developed, as well as how this is evoked within the domain of plastic food packaging. Next, this data has been used to gain a detailed understanding of the history of plastics and the concept of zero-waste. Then, nine zero-waste stores and two conventional supermarkets have been studied, making use of multiple-methods triangulation. Data has been gathered through interviews, observations, and documents in order to understand how zero-waste actors contest the dominant frame of plastic food packaging and what is required to reach a more sustainable food packaging system.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen