THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CONSUMER LINK IN SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAINS: INVESTIGATING PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES AND PLASTIC TOTES

Open Access
Author:
Boghara, Pranjal Ravjibhai
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dawn M Russell, Thesis Supervisor
  • John C Spychalski, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • impact
  • consumers
  • green
  • environment
  • innovation
  • adoption
  • consumption
  • supply chains
  • sustainability
  • environmental footprint
  • plastic water bottles
  • plastic bags
Abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of consumer decisions on sustainable supply chains by considering the environmental effects of two consumables: single-use plastic water bottles and plastic tote bags. Each of these products has an initial design, alternative form, and substitute product for consumption. Each of these has a different impact on the environment. There are three key insights resulting from this work. The first is that plastic is the common offender in water bottles and tote bags, i.e. it is the plastic material in both that causes a potentially disastrous impact on the environment. The second key insight is that consumption of water bottles and tote bags continues despite perceived environmental threats. Third, this work points out the importance of considering adoption of substitutes to avoid further harm to the environment.