No, rien de rien... Regretted purchases in the UK and their implications for environmental policy

Darwin College Sciences Group
Dr Sandy Skelton (Department of Engineering)
The Richard King Room, Darwin College
Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 13:10 to 14:00

The choices that people make over the things that they buy can invite judgement. Evidence that close to a fifth of food and drink brought into UK households is wasted and that nearly a third of clothes bought by UK consumers are left unworn at home, serves to bolster such judgements, however, judging the worthiness of different types of consumption goes against the libertarian principles of free market economics. Within this context, identifying regretted purchases could offer an opportunity to evaluate demand, allowing people to judge their own choices and so avoiding casting judgement on others. Questioning demand in this way is important given the environmental consequences of our consumption patterns. In this talk I will present findings from a UK representative household survey on the tendency to regret purchases across a range of products and explore the relevance of these findings for environmental policy-makers.

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