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    Uncertainty over sustainable packaging remains an issue for consumers, student research suggests

    Posted 14 March 2022

    A young woman – Naomi Hodges – in a forest.

    Uncertainty over sustainable packaging is still an issue for consumers, a Harper Adams University student’s Honours Research project suggests.

    Final year BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development student Naomi Hodges, who is originally from Pencoed in South Wales, decided to carry out her research by questioning consumers to find out what their views of sustainable packaging were – and how industry can change its approach to boost recycling rates.

    She said: “It has become such an important issue today with many consumers moving towards more sustainable behaviour.

    “However, my research so far has discovered there is not much known about what consumers think about sustainable packaging despite the clear changes in society.

    “Further research will be valuable to those in the industry, as it will provide a clear picture of how consumers view sustainable packaging, establish how much consumers are willing to pay for sustainable packaging, and ascertain the importance of clear packaging design to help recycling.”

    Naomi – who ran an online questionnaire to discover the public’s views – is now developing the research into her final dissertation as part of the Honours Research project all final year students at Harper do – usually after having completed a year working in an industry relevant to their chosen degree.

    It was this placement year – which Naomi carried out at the Black Mountains Smokery in Crickhowell – which helped to draw her to study at Harper Adams.

    She added: “I was drawn to Harper due to the nature of the course - I love food and there were only a few places that did the course I desired - which was hands-on, as well as theory-based.

    “The placement year also drew my attention - being able to gain that experience before going out into the world of work was something so compelling to me.

    “The course has been fascinating and as expected my placement year at Black Mountains Smokery was so interesting. I got to see the whole of the business and was given responsibilities that helped develop my confidence.”

    Having been drawn to Harper Adams by its courses, Naomi has also found herself appreciating both its rural campus – and the social life which the University offers, which helped her find both friends – and love.

    She added: “I love the countryside and getting the chance the study such an interesting course in such a beautiful part of the country sealed the deal.

    “I have loved my time here at Harper, I met my now fiancé and made so many wonderful friends.

    “I can't believe my time at Harper is coming to an end - but it has been the most amazing four years and I cannot wait to begin my next chapter.”

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