Promoting reuse behaviour: Challenges and strategies for repeat purchase, low-involvement products

Suneel Kunamaneni, S. Jassi, Dong Hoang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reusable products offer reduced environmental impact compared to recycling, but producers mostly focus on strategies such as light-weighting, recyclability and eco-labelling. A reasonable number of innovative reusable products and business models exist for repeat purchase, low-involvement products, but they are largely restricted to niche health-food stores. Therefore, this research primarily attempts to understand consumer attitudes and behaviour towards reuse of household care products (e.g. air fresheners, domestic cleaning products). Focus groups with UK consumers are utilised to examine reusable/refillable spray products and the data are triangulated with global archival data on various refill business models, reusable products and recycling initiatives. The study offers useful guidelines for both producers and policy makers to encourage reusable products. First, we recommend that eco-innovations have a familiar design congruent with well-known brands, to reduce uncertainties for consumers. Second, if the innovation has an unfamiliar design, to mitigate, producers should offer new functional benefits. Third, and most important, producers must place greater emphasis on aesthetic aspects that could evoke product attachment, thus encouraging reuse. Fourth, if reusable products are to become mainstream, ‘well-known brands’ have to promote the transition from one-off sales to a service model built on durable products. Finally, a successful outcome is dependent on government interventions in designing new life cycle policy instruments, in particular de-marketing the current recycling norm and emphasising reusing over recycling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-272
Number of pages20
JournalSustainable Production and Consumption
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2019


  • Consumer behaviour
  • Eco-innovation
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Low-involvement products
  • Repeat purchase products


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