Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Lauren G. Block

Committee Members

Stephen Gould

Pragya Mathur

Punam A. Keller

Subject Categories

Marketing | Psychology


consumer food waste, categorization, IAT, material disposability, serveware


Three lab studies and three field studies indicate that food waste and consumption is influenced by serveware disposability. Studies indicate that consumers waste more food when eating with disposable plates and consume more food when eating with permanent plates. The effect persists whether participants choose their own type and quantity of food or are given the same amount of food, whether they are responsible for plate disposal or not, and whether the serveware is touched/held or not. Process level support is provided via an IAT test to explain this effect as a perceptual readiness to dispose of food when on disposable serveware and to consume food when on permanent serveware.



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