Chapter 5

 

Results, Analyses, and Findings

 

This chapter explores the results of the educational campaign, including the distribution of brochures and diaper offers, sales of reusable bags and diaper service, and tallies for the baseline and follow-up surveys.  These survey results are further analyzed to extract general findings of the study.

 

Baseline Survey Results

 

The baseline survey was administered from late June, 1993 until August, 1993, in-person to 401 shoppers at the west side Gristede’s store and 399 shoppers at the east side Gristede’s store.  The results, in percents of total responses, are delineated in Table 3 below. 

 

 

 

Table 3 -- Baseline Survey Results -- Demographics

 

 

Which do you consider yourself to be?       

 

 

White

African descent

Asian

Other

West

71.8%

7.5%

3.0%

6.0%

East

73.8%

4.3%

3.3%

4.8%

 

Are you of Spanish or Hispanic origin?    

 

 

 

Yes

No

West

5.7%

71.8%

East

6.3%

72.0%

 

 

Please check the highest level of education you have completed.

 

 

West

East

Some high school

2.0%

1.5%

High school graduate

8.0%

4.8%

College graduate or some college

45.4%

47.9%

Graduate work or advanced degree

37.2%

35.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you     

 

West

East

Male

31.2%

30.2%

Female

57.6%

57.4%

 

 

 

Please check the range which reflects your total household income. 

 

 

 

West

East

Less than $20,000

9.2%

8.6%

$20,000 - $30,000

15.5%

16.4%

$30,000 - $40,000

16.0%

16.9%

$40,000 - $50,000

11.2%

11.8%

Over $50,000

33.9%

33.2%

 

Please circle your age range.   

 

 

West

East

less than 30

25.9%

34.5%

30 – 44

38.7%

31.5%

45 – 60

23.4%

15.9%

over 60

4.2%

6.5%

 

 

The demographic questions, taken together, show that the two sample populations (west and east) are very similar (within a few percentage points) in almost all respects.  The age distribution is slightly different, with the east side having slightly more younger shoppers, and the west side having slightly more middle-aged shoppers.  These data show that the original basis for structuring the experiment to test two different levels of education at the two stores as if they were being tested on one population was sound.

 

 

 

Table 4 -- Baseline Survey Results -- Knowledge

 

To your knowledge, does the City government require all Manhattan residents and businesses to separate materials for recycling?     

 

 

Yes

No

Don’t Know

West

77.6%

8.2%

11.7%

East

76.6%

12.3%

9.3%

 

 

Which of the following materials are picked up from apartment buildings by the City for recycling?

 

 

 

 

Yes

No

Don’t Know

Plastic bottles and jugs

West

89.8%

1.0%

9.0%

 

East

92.2%

1.8%

5.5%

Plastic bags

West

33.7%

29.2%

30.7%

 

East

41.1%

24.7%

26.2%

Aluminum cans

West

88.3%

2.2%

8.0%

 

East

87.7%

2.8%

7.6%

Aluminum foil

West

63.1%

11.2%

21.2%

 

East

67.8%

10.6%

18.1%

Tin cans

West

81.3%

3.5%

14.0%

 

East

76.8%

6.3%

14.4%

 

 

Environmental shopping involves the purchase of fewer disposable items, fewer products containing toxics, more durable items, and more products in recyclable, reduced, and recycled packaging. 

 

Have you heard about environmental shopping before? 

 

 

Yes

No

West

57.4%

41.4%

East

59.7%

39.3%

 

The knowledge questions showed a basic understanding of New York City’s recycling program, a good foundation on which to begin education about environmental shopping.  The questions that required more sophisticated understanding were answered correctly by fewer shoppers, as expected.  For example, that the City’s recycling program was mandatory was not as well understood as the recyclable materials collected by the program (a shortcoming in the City’s recycling enforcement program by that time).  Also, more of the shoppers didn’t realize that plastic bags were not recyclable and fewer understood that aluminum foil was as recyclable as aluminum cans.  Slightly more than half had even heard of environmental shopping.  As expected, since the demographics of the east and west side shoppers were the same, the baseline survey showed little difference between the responses to these questions.

 

 

 

Table 5 -- Baseline Survey Results -- Source of Knowledge

 

As expected, the shoppers had received decidedly more education about recycling than environmental shopping prior to the educational campaign, and from a variety of sources, chief among them, TV/radio, building management and newspapers/magazines.  Their environmental shopping knowledge came more from newspapers/magazines, TV/Radio and their friends and neighbors.   The differences between the east and west side shoppers for all responses were small.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where have you heard about .........

 

 

 

 

RECYCLING

ENVIRONMENTAL SHOPPING

 

 

Yes

No

Yes

No

Mailings

West

58.9%

28.7%

11.5%

63.3%

 

East

66.0%

25.4%

11.1%

69.0%

TV or radio

West

75.8%

15.0%

24.4%

52.6%

 

East

77.6%

16.1%

21.9%

58.7%

Subway Ads or billboards

West

65.3%

21.4%

10.5%

64.3%

 

East

67.8%

22.9%

7.6%

70.3%

Videos in store displays

West

15.7%

63.3%

4.5%

68.8%

 

East

12.6%

68.8%

2.5%

75.6%

Posters or brochures in stores

West

39.2%

42.9%

11.5%

62.6%

 

East

39.8%

44.8%

10.1%

67.8%

Your building's management

West

75.8%

15.2%

6.2%

67.8%

 

East

70.0%

22.2%

3.5%

74.6%

Friends or neighbors

West

58.1%

26.2%

24.7%

52.4%

 

East

58.9%

26.7%

24.7%

55.2%

Newspapers and magazines

West

80.0%

11.0%

27.2%

50.9%

 

East

75.8%

15.6%

26.7%

55.4%

 

 

Table 6 -- Baseline Survey Results -- Attitudes

 

The shoppers’ attitudes towards environmental concepts and conservation, in general, were quite positive, with over half to two-thirds agreeing with all the statements that would indicate a predisposition towards the environment.  The questions that would elicit a negative personal attitude towards the environment (e.g., that technology would solve our environmental problems, mandatory recycling infringes on personal rights, and a personal preference to buy disposable products) were agreed with by fewer shoppers. 

 

A few questions probed shoppers’ motivations when buying products.  Cost was the most important factor and brand name and environmental considerations were the least important when shoppers were asked to rank the motivations.  When asked specifically about the importance of certain intrinsic and extrinsic factors in motivating them to recycle, shoppers considered the intrinsic motivators (e.g., conservation of natural resources, landfill space, the right thing to do) to be considerably more important.  The fact that it is a legal requirement to recycle in New York was important to these shoppers, but far less so than the intrinsic motivators.  Interestingly, there was a difference between west and east side shoppers in the answer to this question, with those on the west side considering this extrinsic factor to be more important than the east siders (perhaps due to differences in the Department of Sanitation’s recycling education or enforcement programs in these two areas).

 

 

If a new store opened near you that encouraged environmentally safe products and practices, all other things being equal, would you be likely to change the supermarket where you do most of your shopping? 

 

Definitely not     Probably not    Don't know     Probably          Definitely

West

1.7%

11.5%

16.2%

39.2%

30.4%

East

1.8%

9.1%

14.4%

38.3%

35.5%

 

 


 

Please indicate how you feel about the following statements using this rating scale:

 

 1) strongly disagree  2) mildly disagree  3) neutral  4) mildly agree  5) strongly agree

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

People in the US buy/consume too much

West

3.0%

2.5%

12.5%

21.4%

54.6%

 

East

4.0%

3.8%

13.6%

19.9%

50.6%

Environmental shopping is important for preserving the natural environment

West

0.7%

2.0%

10.2%

20.0%

60.6%

 

East

2.3%

1.8%

10.6%

19.6%

56.9%

A person helps the environment by reducing the quantity of packaging and products they buy

West

1.7%

2.2%

8.0%

19.5%

62.3%

 

East

2.5%

2.5%

7.8%

20.2%

58.7%

Individuals must take the most active role in solving any trash disposal problems

West

3.2%

3.2%

13.0%

26.9%

46.9%

 

East

3.3%

4.5%

8.1%

26.7%

48.4%

Governments must take the most active role in solving any trash disposal problems

West

3.2%

4.0%

15.0%

26.9%

42.9%

 

East

3.8%

5.0%

11.6%

24.9%

45.6%

Mandatory recycling infringes on my rights

West

56.4%

14.0%

10.2%

5.2%

4.5%

 

East

52.4%

13.6%

12.3%

6.8%

4.5%

Technology alone will solve any trash problem

West

57.4%

20.0%

8.7%

3.0%

3.5%

 

East

49.6%

20.9%

9.3%

5.0%

6.5%

I like to repair things rather than discard them

West

8.0%

6.0%

32.4%

21.9%

24.2%

 

East

6.0%

7.3%

27.0%

23.9%

25.7%

I prefer to buy disposable products

West

19.0%

15.7%

30.2%

14.0%

13.5%

 

East

17.6%

16.4%

29.0%

14.4%

13.9%

Products are not made as durably as they were in the past

West

3.7%

3.2%

25.2%

19.2%

41.4%

 

East

4.3%

3.5%

20.2%

22.7%

39.8%

Using refills or concentrates is good for the environment

West

2.5%

1.5%

16.7%

24.7%

46.6%

 

East

1.8%

3.0%

15.1%

20.9%

50.4%

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please rank the following in order of preference from 1 to 4 in their importance to you when buying groceries (where 1 is most important).

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

Brand name

West

16.0%

18.2%

22.2%

29.2%

 

East

16.4%

17.4%

15.1%

33.8%

Economic value or cost

West

53.6%

19.5%

7.2%

6.5%

 

East

52.4%

17.4%

8.3%

5.0%

Product's convenience

West

12.7%

31.9%

25.9%

13.7%

 

East

12.6%

26.2%

28.0%

14.1%

Environmental impact

West

6.7%

18.7%

28.2%

30.7%

 

East

7.1%

18.6%

26.7%

27.0%

 

 

If you do recycle, please indicate how important each of the following is in inspiring you to recycle.   (where 1 is of no importance and 5 is extremely important)

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

I recycle to help conserve natural resources

West

2.2%

1.0%

11.5%

17.7%

57.9%

 

East

4.0%

1.3%

8.1%

16.1%

56.7%

I recycle to help conserve landfill space

West

3.5%

2.0%

16.7%

19.0%

48.9%

 

East

3.5%

3.3%

12.8%

17.4%

49.4%

I recycle because it's the law

West

14.7%

7.5%

13.5%

13.5%

40.6%

 

East

14.4%

10.8%

19.4%

14.4%

28.7%

I recycle because it seems like the

right thing to do

West

3.2%

0.7%

8.5%

18.7%

59.4%

 

East

3.5%

3.8%

7.8%

16.4%

55.4%

 

 

 

 

 

The behavior questions are the most useful ones in determining the degree to which the educational campaign changed shoppers’ habits, and form the basis for comparison with the post-intervention survey responses.  Comparing the general tenor of the shoppers’ behaviors with their attitudes and level of environmental knowledge, there appears to be a disconnect.  Whereas the shoppers tended to have positive attitudes and a high level of recycling knowledge, they seemed a bit more ambivalent when it came to actually practicing environmental behaviors.  Recycling was one exception to this, where a vast majority of shoppers from east and west recycled cans, bottles, and magazines.  On the other end of the spectrum, it was clear that shoppers did not bring their own bags to the supermarket.   Though more than half didn’t buy products in single-serving packages, they did buy disposable products, so again shoppers showed a reluctance to abandon environmentally deleterious behaviors. There was, once again, little difference between the east and west side shoppers.

 

Table 7 – Baseline Survey Results -- Self-Reported Behaviors

 

How often do you, personally, actually do each of the following things?

(where 1 is never and 5 is always)

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

Buy disposable products

West

4.5%

9.2%

46.9%

20.0%

8.2%

 

East

2.8%

13.1%

45.6%

22.2%

4.3%

Buy refills or concentrates

West

10.7%

12.2%

31.2%

29.7%

7.0%

 

East

7.8%

11.6%

30.7%

29.0%

10.1%

Buy items in single-serving packages

West

23.7%

23.4%

25.7%

13.2%

4.2%

 

East

24.7%

21.%

23.4%

13.6%

4.5%

Select products in recyclable packaging

West

4.7%

8.7%

28.9%

36.2%

11.7%

 

East

4.5%

7.8%

30.5%

35.5%

9.6%

Avoid buying aerosols

West

11.0%

9.5%

16.0%

16.7%

37.4%

 

East

9.1%

9.3%

15.9%

17.9%

37.8%

Return beverage containers for deposit

West

28.7%

7.0%

11.2%

12.7%

31.7%

 

East

27.2%

9.3%

11.8%

11.6%

28.7%

Bring your own bag to the store

West

51.9%

14.2%

13.2%

8.7%

4.0%

 

East

51.1%

13.1%

12.6%

10.3%

2.3%

Patronize repair shops

West

9.0%

15.5%

34.2%

18.2%

13.2%

 

East

12.6%

12.1%

31.5%

19.9%

11.1%

Recycle cans and bottles

West

2.5%

2.5%

5.0%

18.0%

64.1%

 

East

5.3%

4.3%

6.3%

17.1%

56.7%

Recycle magazines

West

11.0%

4.7%

5.5%

13.5%

57.6%

 

East

8.6%

4.8%

8.6%

15.4%

52.1%

 

Follow-Up Survey Results

 

The follow-up survey was administered by telephone to as many baseline survey respondents as possible from late January 1994 until April 1994.  The results of this survey are given in the tables immediately below.  Analyses of the baseline and follow-up surveys are discussed in the next section.

 

 

After the administration of the educational treatment in each store some small differences in the shoppers’ responses between stores began to appear in some cases.  The west-side shoppers became more aware of the mandatory nature of the City’s recycling program, and they noted the in-store videos as a source of environmental shopping knowledge.  The east side shoppers noted the posters and brochures as a source of environmental information more so than the west side shoppers, possibly because the store was more spacious and the educational materials had less competition per square foot of space.  There was also a disparity in the amount of information on recycling they received from their building management, possibly pointing to differences in distribution of the City’s recycling educational materials.

 

As compared with the baseline survey, more of the respondents knew that the City government requires them to separate materials for recycling, perhaps due to heightened awareness of the program after having been surveyed the first time.  Strangely, fewer respondents could correctly identify materials collected by DOS for recycling after the educational program; sometimes as many as 40% fewer, in the case of tin cans.  The fact that the baseline question had a “don’t know” option would have served to reduce the number of respondents answering these questions correctly for the baseline questionnaire.  One possible explanation for the discrepancy could be the difference in survey administration (in person vs. telephone), though it is not clear why that could have made a difference here.  

 

Table 8    Follow-Up Survey Results -- Knowledge

 

To your knowledge, does the City government require all Manhattan residents and businesses to separate materials for recycling?     

 

 

 

Yes

No

Don’t know

West

87.9%

3.0%

8.3%

East

80.6%

5.8%

11.7%

 

 

 

Which of the following materials are picked up from apartment buildings by the City for recycling? (Note:  “Don't Know” was an option in the baseline survey)                    

 

 

Yes

No

Plastic bottles and jugs

West

78.8%

21.2%

 

East

77.7%

22.3%

Plastic bags*

West

47.7%

52.3%

 

East

52.4%

47.6%

Aluminum cans

West

55.3%

44.7%

 

East

73.8%

26.2%

Aluminum foil

West

41.7%

58.3%

 

East

40.8%

59.2%

Tin cans

West

39.4%

60.6%

 

East

39.8%

60.2%

 

*Plastic bags have never been picked up for recycling by New York City.

 

 

 

Have you heard about environmental shopping before?

 

 

 

Yes

No

West

53.0%

47%

East

55.3%

44.7%

 

Where have you heard about ...  

 

 

 

Recycling

Environmental Shopping

Mailings

West

28.0%

3.0%

 

East

28.2%

3.9%

TV or radio

West

53.8%

10.6%

 

East

53.4%

8.7%

Subway Ads or billboards

West

31.1%

6.8%

 

East

29.1%

4.9%

Videos in store displays

West

9.1%

6.8%

 

East

1.0%

3.9%

Posters/brochures in stores

West

13.6%

18.2%

 

East

23.3%

15.5%

Your building's management

West

18.9%

0.0%

 

East

29.1%

3.9%

Friends or neighbors

West

26.5%

9.8%

 

East

28.2%

13.6%

Newspapers and magazines

West

57.6%

12.9%

 

East

64.1%

21.4%

 

Due to space constraints in the follow-up questionnaire, many of the attitude questions had to be dropped.  Again about two-thirds of respondents from east and west were positively disposed towards shopping at a store that encouraged environmental products, and again cost was the most important factor for motivating shoppers towards their purchases.  Second was convenience, and here this seemed a little more important to east-siders than west-siders.  In this survey environmental considerations were alone at the bottom of shoppers’ priorities, when compared with other, extrinsic and intrinsic factors.  In evaluating the importance of the three intrinsic and one extrinsic motivators to recycle, a clear majority of shoppers considered the intrinsic motivators to be important or extremely important, again more so than the fact that it is against the law not to recycle.  However, some differences between east and west appeared after the educational intervention.  For all three intrinsic motivators, 12 to 23% more west-siders considered these reasons extremely important in motivating them to recycle, as compared with east siders.  Perhaps the greater educational intensity at the west side store influenced these shoppers about the relationship between their recycling and conservation of natural resources, landfill space and environmental quality, in general.  This difference was not apparent for the extrinsic factor, which was not mentioned in the educational materials.

 

Table 9   Follow-up Survey Results -- Attitudes

 

If a new store opened near you that encouraged environmentally safe products and practices, all other things being equal, would you be likely to change the supermarket where you do most of your shopping? 

         

 

 

East

West

Definitely not

 3.9%   

 3.8%

Probably not

17.5% 

12.1%

Don't know

13.6% 

15.2%

Probably

35.0% 

33.3%

Definitely

29.1% 

35.6%

 

 

 

Please rank the following in order of preference from 1 to 4 in their importance to you when buying groceries (where 1 is most important).

 

 

Rank

1

2

3

4

Brand name

West

28.8%

16.7%

23.5%

28.0%

 

East

26.2%

26.2%

21.4%

26.2%

Economic value/cost

West

47.0%

32.6%

11.4%

6.1%

 

East

47.6%

22.3%

18.4%

10.7%

Product convenience

West

12.9%

25.8%

31.8%

26.5%

 

East

20.4%

27.2%

28.2%

21.4%

Environmental Impact

West

12.1%

21.2%

28.0%

35.6%

 

East

 10.7%

18.4%

27.2%

40.8%

 

 

 

 

If you do recycle, please indicate how important each of the following is in inspiring you to recycle.   (where 1 is of no importance and 5 is extremely important)

         

I Recycle:                                        

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

To help conserve  natural resources

West

6.8%

5.3%

14.4%

16.7%

56.1%

  

East

3.9 %

14.6%

22.3%

22.3%

33.0%

To help conserve  landfill space

West

4.5%

8.3%

16.7%

20.5%

48.5%

  

East

4.9%

17.5%

19.4%

26.2%

28.2%

Because it's the law

West

18.9%

16.7%

17.4%

12.9%

33.3%

 

East

8.7 %

7.8%

24.3%

24.3%

31.1%

Because it seems like  the

right thing to do

West

6.1%

6.1%

13.6%

21.2%

52.3%

 

East

3.9 %

8.7%

11.7%

31.1%

40.8%

 

 

As with the baseline survey, shoppers did not exhibit a convincing tendency towards environmental shopping behaviors, again with the exception of recycling cans and bottles.  Behaviors were varied, depending on which purchasing habit they were being queried about.  For example, a clear majority frequently returned containers for deposit, but  almost all the rest of the respondents never did (in other words, the respondents were either avid about the behavior or non-participants).  On the other hand, behaviors like patronizing repair shops, buying refills and concentrates, and buying disposable products were so varied that no trend was evident.   Comparing these results to the baseline produced more interesting results.  These are discussed in the analysis section. 

 

Table 10   Follow-Up Survey -- Self-Reported Behaviors

 

 

How often do you, personally, actually do each of the following things?

(where 1 is never and 5 is always.

 

 

 

1 (never)

2

3

4

5 (always)

Buy disposable products

West

4.5%

14.4%

38.6%

16.7%

25.8%

 

East

3.9%

14.6%

26.2%

26.2%

28.2%

Buy refills or concentrates

West

16.7%

18.9%

15.2%

21.2%

28.0%

 

East

8.7%

17.5%

18.4%

24.3%

29.1%

Buy items in single-serving packaging

West

27.3%

24.2%

25.0%

9.1%

11.4%

 

East

22.3%

20.4%

26.2%

13.6%

15.5%

Select products in recyclable packaging

West

4.5%

26.5%

31.8%

19.7%

15.2%

 

East

2.9%

22.3%

36.9%

21.4%

15.5%

Avoid buying aerosols

West

18.9%

10.6%

10.6%

18.9%

39.4%

 

East

8.7%

5.8%

16.5%

23.3%

43.7%

Return containers for deposit

West

31.8%

3.8%

6.8%

13.6%

42.4%

 

East

24.3%

8.7%

3.9%

22.3%

36.9%

Bring your own bag to the store

West

51.5%

22.7%

13.6%

5.3%

6.1%

 

East

34.0%

29.1%

17.5%

8.7%

8.7%

Patronize repair shops

West

25.0%

23.5%

22.0%

15.2%

12.9%

 

East

18.4%

24.3%

32.0%

12.6%

11.7%

Recycle cans and bottles

West

7.6%

0.8%

2.3%

12.1%

73.5%

 

East

5.8%

5.8%

6.8%

15.5%

65.0%

 

 

It is interesting to note that well over 50% and often more than 60% or 70% of both east and west side shoppers sometimes, often, or always (values = 3, 4, or 5) participated in most of the environmental behaviors above.  The exception was bringing their own bags to the store, where the participation rate was between 25% and 30%.

 

Bag results

In addition to the questionnaire results, above, a special focus of the data gathering and analysis efforts was the impact of the educational campaign on the use of disposable and reusable grocery bags by the shoppers.  Data to illustrate changes in bag use came partially from the questionnaires, originally to be verified by objective data from Red Apple.

 

Disposable Grocery Bags given out by Gristede’s

Red Apple headquarters promised monthly data on disposable bags given away by the stores before, during and after the campaign.  However, after repeated requests once the campaign was over, none was forthcoming.  Also, Red Apple headquarters had originally agreed to provide information on the distribution to customers of the smaller, produce bags, but did not.  The project never received information on how many disposable bags of any kind were given away.  So it was not possible to evaluate whether the educational campaign or sales of the project’s cotton bags had any negative impact on the number of disposable grocery bags taken by customers.

 

Cloth Bags Sold

The last-minute decision to permit sales of the Environmental Shopper bags by the cashiers, instead of at the courtesy counter, resulted in some confusion in accounting for the number of bags sold.  The bags were assigned a code, which the cashiers were to register at every sale.  Though the west side store seemed to have this straight from the outset, the east side store rang up bags under another code for the first several weeks of the educational period.  The store chain assigned these bags a code number (901) so that sales could be monitored and the project could be reimbursed.  Data under code #901 was never forthcoming from headquarters, despite attempts to get it.  The project was eventually reimbursed for bags delivered to the stores.

 

Without realizing that this would be relied upon as a source of project data, a log was kept to record each delivery of bags to each store, including the number of bags delivered and the date.  Since actual bag sales data were not available, this information was used to infer the sale of the Environmental Shopper bags.  By mid-February, 200 bags had been left at the west-side store, an estimated 13 per week during the six weeks before the price change and 10 per week during the twelve weeks that followed.  Somewhat at odds with this, was the perception of the west side’s assistant store manager that the bags did not sell very fast in November and at least the first half of December, but they did seem to start selling better when the price was reduced.  At the east-side store 160 bags had been left during the campaign, an estimated 10 per week during the six weeks before the price change and 8 per week during the twelve weeks that followed.

 

On March 18, about two months after the posters and brochures were removed at the end of the active educational campaign, the assistant store manager in the east side store continued to report bag sales down.  He attributed it to the absence of the project brochures, etc.  Similar to the east-side store, the west-side’s assistant manager also reported bag sales down two months after the end of the campaign.  Since the passive campaign phase was not to include as frequent maintenance visits, the coat hanger rigs on which balled up cotton bags were displayed, were beginning to look a bit shabby, and this may have contributed to lowered sales in the west side store.  However, since a similar drop in sales was also noted by the east side store manager (with no alteration of the bag display there), it is more likely that the lowered sales were due to saturation of the market or the lack of supportive messages from the educational campaign, or both.

 

Bags were removed from stores on April 27, 1994.  By this time, it is inferred that 337 bags had been sold at the two stores (150 for the east side store, and 187 for the west side store) taking into account the bags that were remaining unsold at the end of the campaign (10 – East; 13 – West).   This would indicate that there were roughly 20% more sales at the west side store during the same period.  Table 11, below, shows the bag deliveries for each store.

 

Table 11      Bag deliveries as of May 2, 1994

 

Date

East (50)

West (56)

10/29/93

 

20

11/1/93

20

 

11/2/93

10

10

11/10/93

 

20

11/19/93

30

30

12/16/93

30

30

12/26/93

 

30

1/2/94

30

30

1/8/94

20

10

2/14/94

20

20

Totals

160

200

 

   The price change, from $4 each to $2.50, took place on December 15, 1994.

 

 

These data may have to be viewed cautiously.  Due to the efforts of the assistant manager, the east-side store provided weekly, and in some cases, daily data on number of bags sold (see Table 4).  According to him, the east-side store sold only 53 bags during the same period that 150 bags were left at the store.  This can be interpreted optimistically (the assistant manager did not have accurate data for all the bags sold while he was not at the store – he worked nights and not every day) or pessimistically (all the unaccounted bags were stolen), or something in-between.  No comparable sales information was forthcoming from the west-side store managers.  It seems likely that there might be some missing sales data from the east side store because certain days of the week are preferentially covered in the sales breakdowns in Table 12, and other days are typically missing.  Pilferage is always a problem in supermarkets, but considering the facts that the bags were within an arm’s length and in full view of the cashiers, and in the east side store, above her head, and clearly marked with neon green or pink price signs, stealing bags would not be so easy.  Logic would dictate that the actual number sold is close to the higher figure.

 

 

Table 12      East side bag sales

(from the assistant store manager’s figures)

 

Week ending

Number sold

Breakdown

12/26/93

6

Na

1/2/94

10

1 Mon, 9 Sat.

1/9

20

5 Mon, 9 Wed, 1 Th, 2 Sat

1/16

 

Na

1/23

2

1 Wed, 1 Sat

1/30

1

1 Sat

2/6

2

Na

2/13

1

Na

2/20

6

Na

2/27

4

Na

3/6

1

Na

Total

53

 

 

 

 

Survey Bag Results

 

The following data, extracted from the baseline surveys, indicates that increasing the economic incentive to shoppers for bringing their own bag from two to five cents would have a small positive impact on the likelihood of doing so.  After the educational campaign, these numbers did not change much.   When asked whether and how frequently the shoppers bring a bag to the supermarket, before and after the educational campaign, the west side shoppers were fairly consistent, but the east side shoppers did tend to bring more bags than before the education. 

 

Table 13   Baseline and Follow-Up Survey Bag Results

 

Baseline:

If you were offered a small incentive, say 2 cents, to bring your own bag to the supermarket for your groceries, would you bring your own bag? 

 

                     Definitely not     Probably not         Don't know        Probably     Definitely

West

8.7%

26.9%

12.5%

28.2%

23.2%

East

7.6%

24.9%

12.8%

36.3%

18.1%

 

Baseline:

If the incentive were five cents, would you bring your own bag? 

 

                     Definitely not     Probably not         Don't know        Probably     Definitely

West

7.2%

21.2%

12.2%

29.7%

27.9%

East

5.3%

20.9%

13.1%

35.5%

23.7%

 

Follow-Up:

If the incentive were five cents, would you bring your own bag? 

 

                     Definitely not     Probably not         Don't know        Probably     Definitely

West

12.1%

19.7%

9.1%

33.3%

25.8%

East

9.7%

21.4%

18.4%

26.2%

24.3%

                                        

                                   

Baseline:

Have you used one of Gristede's reusable canvas bags in the past month?

 

 

Yes

No

Can’t remember

West

3.2%

85.0%

3.7%

East

2.5%

81.9%

4.5%

Baseline:

If yes, how often have you brought one with you when you go shopping?  

          (Of total respondents)

 

 

Occasionally

Sometimes

Often

Always

West

4.7%

4.5%

2.2%

.7%

East

4.3%

6.3%

2.3%

.3%

 

 

Baseline:

How often do you, personally, actually do each of the following things?

(where 1 is never and 5 is always)

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

Bring your own bag to the store

West

51.9%

14.2%

13.2%

8.7%

4.0%

 

East

51.1%

13.1%

12.6%

10.3%

2.3%

 

Follow-Up:

How often do you, personally, actually do each of the following things?

(where 1 is never and 5 is always.

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

Bring your own bag to the store

West

51.5%

22.7%

13.6%

5.3%

6.1%

 

East

34.0%

29.1%

17.5%

8.7%

8.7%

 

 

 

Diaper Results

 

About 175 diaper offers were initially sent to each store, and it was about three weeks before these were depleted.  A second supply of 175 was sent in early December, and these were largely depleted by the end of the active educational phase.  About 70 undistributed diaper offers came back from the east side store at the end of the campaign and about 5 came back from the west side store. There was no indication that anyone at the stores replenished the cashiers' supplies of these offers as they were depleted, though a handful was given to each cashier during the periodic visits to each store.  There was no accurate way to track how many shoppers who bought disposable diapers were not given diaper service offers, though there were questions on the follow-up survey inquiring about this.

 

In a conversation with General Health Care Corporation, on March 8, 1994 it was learned that, despite project efforts to educate shoppers (particularly those having infants) about the solid waste generation and disposal benefits of switching from buying disposable diapers to using diaper service, there were no new GHCC customers resulting from the educational campaign.  GHCC indicated that all personnel fielding calls on the 800 number given out to prospective customers, via the diaper service offers, were familiar with the Gristede's educational effort.  Although GHCC could not guarantee that all shoppers calling the number were asked if they were from the Gristede's stores, any serious calls from shoppers would have soon resulted in their identification as having been generated due to the project, because the diaper offers featured special low pricing.

 

GHCC suggested a reason for the poor results.  The most important explanation given was that people are loathe to switch to using cotton diapers or to diaper service once they are used to disposables.  The decision to change to diaper service has been rare and usually in instances where the baby has severe diaper rash.  Also, even GHCC's own customers don't tend to stay with diaper service for the diapering life of the child.  This is because older children void more quantity at a time, possibly requiring double-diapering when using cloth.  In addition, because the gels used in some disposable diapers are designed to absorb many times their weight, some parents who use disposables on their infants may leave the diaper on their child for longer periods of time (as much as six hours at a time and for 3 or more voids).  Even though common wisdom dictates that to minimize rash, diapers should be changed after each voiding, parents would be disappointed to find that cotton diapers cannot be left on the child as long as is typical for disposables. 

 

Reluctance on the part of consumers to change to a product viewed as less convenient is the reason for GHCC's main advertising efforts having been directed towards pregnant women, and mothers of newborns at the hospital.  If this were the explanation for the project's results, it suggests either that the supermarket is not the best venue for educating people regarding the solid waste impacts of diaper selection or that the diaper offers should have been given to pregnant shoppers rather than those purchasing disposable diapers.

 

There may be other reasons to explain why no shoppers signed up for diaper service.  The follow-up survey included a question designed to find out if respondents with infants had received a diaper offer at the store.  This information could also help explain to what extent the poor response rate for diaper service was due to the design of the educational materials, the message itself, and/or the distribution of the diaper offers.  As it turned out, only 17% of respondents with babies received diaper offers in the east side store and 6% in the west side store.  The former corresponds to 2 of 12 respondents with babies receiving the education in the east side store, and 1 of 17 on the west side.  Oddly enough, the survey results showed that one shopper in each store said that he or she signed up for diaper service.   Even if this were the case, it is clear that it is not primarily the design of the educational materials or the message which is the cause of the poor enrollment rate at the diaper service, but rather that the vast majority of the intended audience never received the educational treatment in the first place.  The store chain and managers had agreed that the cashiers could be asked to hand out these diaper offers.  Each manager had been given letters for the cashiers describing the project and what they were being asked to do; and there was always sufficient stock of diaper offers in each store.  Two possible conclusions are that the cashiers did not receive the letters, or did not implement it.   So the shoppers, most not having received the educational treatment, could not have been expected to switch to diaper service.

 

Survey Results for Diaper Use

This section shows the results of the surveys as they pertain to the use of diapers by shoppers.  As expected a small minority of shoppers buy diapers, twice as many on the west side as the east side.  The number of shoppers with babies increased by a considerable factor after the educational campaign was over.  Also, the vast majority of those using diapers use disposables, though about 5% used diaper service before the start of the campaign, and some use some disposables with diaper service (see Appendix D for a fuller discussion of the cost comparison for diapers).  Despite the low penetration of the diaper service advertising in the stores, the results show that other alternatives involving cloth diapers (e.g., washing them, diaper service) were used by more respondents after the educational intervention than before, and that the rate of increase in these alternatives was greater than that for disposable diapers.

 

Since there was a suspicion that not all parents of infants were receiving diaper offers during the campaign, a few questions were added to the follow-up survey to elicit more information about this cohort and how the campaign impacted their decisions.  No one in the west side store claimed to have received a diaper offer either from a cashier or from the shelf. At the east side store one of the nine answering the questions received a diaper offer from a cashier and another got one off the shelf.  One shopper in each store claims to have registered for diaper service.  Of the 11 who answered the question at the west side store, one gave cost, another gave inconvenience, and a third gave health considerations as reasons for not using diaper service; five liked disposables.  Three at the east side store thought that diaper service was too expensive, one thought it inconvenient, and another cited health reasons; four liked disposables. 

 

Table 14   Baseline and Follow-Up Survey Diaper Results

 

Baseline:

Is there an infant in your household, who uses diapers?

 

 

Yes

No

West

10.0%  (40)

80.8%  (324)

East

5.5%  (22)

83.6%  (332)

 

 

Follow-Up

Is there an infant in your household, who uses diapers? 

 

 

Yes

No

West

12.9%  (17)

74.2%  (98)

East

11.7%  (12)

85.4%  (88)

 

 

 

 

 

Baseline:

If yes, how does your household deal with soiled diapers?  Do you

 

 

 

Percent of shoppers

Percent of those using diapers

Number

Throw them in the garbage?

West

9.2%

92.5%

37

 

East

5.3%

87.5%

21

Wash them at home or in your building?

West

0.5%

5.3%

2

 

East

0.0%

0.0%

0

Wash them at a nearby laundry?

West

0.0%

0.0%

0

 

East

0.0%

0.0%

0

Have them picked up by a diaper service?

West

0.5%

5.3%

2

 

East

0.3%

4.0%

1

 

 

Follow-Up

If yes, how does your household deal with soiled diapers?  Do you

 

 

 

Percent of shoppers

 

 

Throw them in the garbage?

West

10.6%   (14)

 

 

East

8.7%    (9)

 

Wash them at home or in your building?

West

1.5%    (2)

 

 

East

2.9%    (3)

 

Wash them at a nearby laundry?  

West

2.3%    (3)

 

 

East

0.0%    (0)

 

Have them picked up by a diaper service?

West

0.0%    (0)

 

 

East

1.0%    (1)

             

 

 

Follow-Up Survey

Did you receive an offer for diaper service?  

 

 

 

Yes

No

West

0.8%  (1)

10.6%  (14)

East

1.9%  (2)

9.7%    (10)

 

 

Refills and Concentrates Results

Questions were asked in both the baseline and follow-up surveys to gauge shoppers’ attitudes and behaviors regarding buying refills and concentrates.  The disconnect between attitude towards refills and concentrates and actually purchasing products in these packages is evident in the baseline survey (see tables below).  Comparing the baseline to the follow-up survey, behavior question responses showed a definite increase in those who always buy refills and concentrates (from roughly 10% before to almost 30% after for each store), but there was also an increase in those who never or infrequently choose this behavior (from about 21% before to about 26% (east) and 36% (west).  A possible explanation is that those who were already buying this kind of packaging on some occasions increased this behavior, and those who said they were ambivalent to begin with, may have recognized that they overstated their actual purchases of refills and concentrates.

 

 

Table 15     Baseline and Follow-Up Survey Results – Refills and Concentrates

 

 

Baseline:

Please indicate how you feel about the following statements using this rating scale:

 

1)     strongly disagree  2) mildly disagree 3) neutral  4) mildly agree  5) strongly agree

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

Using refills or concentrates is good for the environment

West

2.3%

2.1%

15.6%

22.4%

49.3%

 

East

1.9%

3.3%

16.6%

22.9%

55.2%

 

 

 

Baseline:

How often do you, personally, actually do each of the following things?

(where 1 is never and 5 is always)

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

Buy refills or concentrates

West

9.0%

11.9%

31.6%

29.3%

8.4%

 

East

8.8%

13.0%

34.5%

32.5%

11.3%

 

 

 

 

Follow-Up Survey:

How often do you, personally, actually do each of the following things?

(where 1 is never and 5 is always.

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

Buy refills or concentrates

West

16.7%

18.9%

15.2%

21.2%

28.0%

 

East

8.7%

17.5%

18.4%

24.3%

29.1%

 

 

 

Brochures Distributed

By the end of the educational campaign it became clear that thousands of brochures had been distributed at the test stores.  In ten weeks, 1800 overall summary brochures had been distributed at the east-side store and 2600 had been given out at the west side store.  Of the green brochures, 1350 were distributed at the east-side store and 1750 were distributed at the west-side store.  Of the goldenrod brochures, 2100 were distributed at the east-side store, and 1500 at the west side store.  The store managers at west side were asked if cashiers could hand out the overall brochures to every customer on about four occasions starting the last two weeks of November.  Roughly two hundred were handed out each time.  It is estimated that at least 500 brochures or sets of brochures were handed out as a result of this effort.  Roughly 75 summary brochures were given out on November 13, another 200 were given out on November 26 and 28.

 

Respondents’ Recollections of the Educational Campaign

Table 16, below, illustrates the results of the follow-up survey questions pertaining to respondents' recollection of the features of the educational treatment.  Perhaps due to difficulties cited earlier in displaying educational devices, many of the survey respondents did not recall one or more of the educational features or required prompting to remember them.  The educational materials that were noticed most were the cotton bags and the NYC DOS Bring Your Own Bag signs.  Reasons for this are that the items are large (i.e., take up more of the visual field near the cashier than the other educational materials), are unusual and attention-grabbing (e.g., colorful), and the materials likely stayed in place throughout the campaign.  The Environmental Shopper bags were noticed by over 45% of the east-side shoppers and about 57% of the west-side shoppers (prompted plus unprompted).   This might be explained by the fact that the bag displays in the west side store were arranged lower down than in the east side store, more at eye level, over the conveyor.  The DOS Bring Your Own Bag signs were noticed by almost 64% on the east side and about 61% on the west side, a negligible difference, but still a relatively high figure.  The brochures, noticed by roughly 40% (prompted plus unprompted) coexisting in racks with magazines and tabloids, may have blended in with them in some shoppers’ eyes, accounting for the lower recognition rate.  It’s possible that the brochures were moved or discarded, lessening their impact.  It is known that the posters were not up for long, and were in locations that some shoppers could have missed, and the shelf cards were only near the produce bags (not all shoppers buy produce).  Both of these educational materials were noticed by about 15%.  At the west side store, the sound on the video was frequently not audible, and volunteers distributed literature on several occasions, but could easily have been missed by shoppers.  Nonetheless, these educational treatments were noticed by about a third of respondents.  That not all of the survey respondents received the educational treatment guided the design of some of the data analyses, as described in the next section.

 

 

 

 

Table 16       Follow-Up Survey -- Recollection of Education 

 

Can you tell me, what features of the environmental campaign you noticed?

 

                                                             Unprompted               Prompted

                                                            East         West        East      West

 

Three brochures

24.3%

 17.4%

14.6%

 25.0%

DOS' Bring Your Own Bag signs

40.8%

  37.9%

23.3%

 23.5%

Environmental Shopper bags

34.0%

  38.6%

11.7%

 18.9%

Gristede's or Minnesota store posters

  6.8%

    9.8%

10.7%

 14.4%

Shelf cards (bring back product bags)

  6.8%

    7.6%

  6.8%

   9.1%

Video

 

  18.9%

 

 17.4%

Volunteers distributing literature

 

  12.9%

 

 23.5%

 

 

 

Survey Analyses

In order to assess whether, and the degree to which the educational campaigns were effective in changing shoppers’ purchasing attitudes and behaviors, and to answer the other research questions posed in Chapter 2, the baseline and follow-up surveys can be analyzed using statistical techniques.  In this section the techniques used include test of mean difference between paired measures, factor analysis, regression and path analysis.  Further analyses of the data are made by examining subgroups of the sample populations.  For example, certain demographic groups may have answered questions differently from other demographic groups.  Groups of different age, race, educational level, and income might respond differently to the educational devices and to the environmental shopping campaign as a whole, and this information would be useful in tailoring such campaigns to the locality.   Answers to questions by cohorts of shoppers that received different combinations of the educational treatment can be compared with the responses of other groups that somehow missed seeing the educational materials.  Such comparisons are useful in evaluating the effectiveness of the materials and/or their display and distribution.  These analyses are described below.

 

Socio-demographic Differences in Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors

Tables 17 – 23 show some of the more interesting comparisons of means between groups (in this case, demographic groups) for the baseline survey results.  Since responses to survey questions were all numerical (e.g., yes/no (1/0), on a scale of 1 to 5, or ranked 1 to 4), the mean or average answer for each question by each group can be calculated, and is a useful measure for comparisons.  The baseline analysis combines the east and west side respondents into one cohort with a sample size of roughly 700; the follow-up crosstabs sample size is closer to 200 (the exact numbers vary depending on the specific question asked). Knowing how different groups respond to questions about environmental attitudes and behaviors both prior to and after educational intervention can be helpful in designing educational materials and targeting educational campaigns to optimize participation across-the-board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 17      Selected Cross-tabulations of Race vs. Attitude and Behavior
            (For precise wording of questions, see questionnaires in Appendix Q)

 

 

Race                                                                   Whites    Blacks   Asians   Hispanic         

Baseline Survey

Means

ATTITUDES 

(1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree)

N=(  )

N= (  )

N= (  )

N= (  )

People in US buy/consume too much

4.34 (576)

3.58 (45)

4.48 (25)

4.40 (45)

Mandatory Recycling infringes on my rights

1.67 (565)

2.23 (44)

2.13 (23)

2.09 (44)

I prefer to repair over discarding

3.63 (568)

3.18 (44)

3.30 (23)

3.43 (44)

Products are not made as durable as in past

4.02 (569)

4.00 (46)

3.67 (24)

3.79  (43)

Individuals must take most active role in solving any trash disposal problems

4.20 (572)

4.09 (45)

4.16

(25)

4.46 (44)

I prefer to buy disposable products

2.82 (567)

3.28 (45)

3.04 (25)

3.20 (45)

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N= (  )

N=(  )

N= (  )

N= (  )

I buy single-serving packages

2.46 (561)

2.77 (43)

2.25 (24)

2.50 (42)

I select products in recyclable packaging

3.48 (558)

3.07 (46)

3.54 (24)

3.44 (43)

I avoid buying aerosols

3.82 (566)

2.89 (45)

3.24 (25)

3.47 (43)

I return beverage containers for deposit

3.13 (565)

2.67 (45)

3.04 (25)

2.91 (42)

I bring my own bag to the store

1.90 (570)

1.58 (45)

2.12 (25)

1.73 (44)

I patronize repair shops

3.15 (558)

2.89 (46)

2.92 (24)

2.81 (43)

I buy disposable products

3.14 (555)

3.46 (46)

3.21 (24)

3.50 (44)

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race                                                                 Whites    Blacks   Asians   Hispanic           

Follow-up Survey

Means

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N= (  )

N= (  )

N= (  )

N= (  )

How Often do you buy disposable products?

1.80 (176)

.182 (11)

1.78 (9)

1.53 (15)

How often do you buy refills & concentrates

1.97 (175)

1.00 (11)

1.78 (9)

1.93 (15)

I buy single-serving packages

1.45 (175)

.36 (11)

1.22 (9)

.80 (15)

I select products in recyclable packaging

3.36 (179)

3.18 (11)

3.67 (9)

2.93 15)

I avoid buying aerosols

3.86 (178)

3.64(11)

3.56 (9)

3.87 (15)

I return beverage containers for deposit

2.96 (172)

2.55 (11)

3.00 (9)

3.13 (15)

I bring my own bag to the store

2.02 (175)

1.82 (11)

.87 (9)

1.67 (15)

I patronize repair shops

2.65 (177)

3.18 (11)

3.11 (9)

2.87 (15)

 

 

 

 

For the most part, the cross-tabs did not show a great deal of disparity amongst the groups, usually less than a few tenths of a point separated the different demographic groups.  In the case of race (Table 17), whites and Asians were often the groups that had the more positive environmental attitudes and behaviors, but not always.  Blacks bought single-serving packages and disposable products significantly less than the other racial groups in the follow-up survey, but bought more of them at the time of the baseline survey.  This might indicate more of an effect of the campaign on this group, or be an artifact of a small follow-up survey sample size for that group.  Interestingly, when it came to bringing a bag to the store, whites and blacks both increased this behavior slightly after the campaign, but Asians and others decreased it dramatically.  After the campaign whites didn’t patronize repair shops as often, and blacks patronized them more.  Blacks bought fewer products in recyclable packaging and returned beverage containers for deposit both before and after the campaign as compared with the other groups.  When compared with individual racial groups (Table 17), Hispanics did not appear to be too different.  However, when compared to non-Hispanics as a whole, Hispanics were a study in contrasts (Table 18).  On the one hand, they more firmly believed that individuals must take the most active role in solving trash problems, but on the other they prefer to buy disposable products more so than non-Hispanics before the educational campaign, and were less likely to practice environmental shopping behaviors after the educational campaign.

 

 

 

Table 18   Selected Cross-tabs of Hispanic Origin vs. Attitude and Behavior

 

 

Hispanic Origin                                                               Non-Hispanic    Hispanic

 

Baseline Survey

Means

ATTITUDES (1  = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree

N=560-565

N=44-45

Individuals must take active role in solving trash problems

4.20

4.46

I prefer to buy disposable products

2.85

3.20

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N=550

N=44

I buy disposable products

3.14

3.50

 

 

 

 

Hispanic Origin                                                          Non-Hispanic        Hispanic

 

Follow-up Survey

Means

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N=174-177

N=15

I buy single-serving packaging

1.36

.80

I select products in recyclable packaging

3.33

2.93

I bring my own bag to the store

1.98

1.67

I buy disposable products

1.67

1.53

Table 19    Selected Cross-tabs of Education vs. Attitude and Behavior

 

 

Education                                                          Some H.S.   HS Grad  College    Grad school

Baseline Survey

Means

ATTITUDES  (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree)

N=13-14

N=41-44

N=359-361

N=268-283

Mandatory Recycling infringes on my rights

2.79

1.90

1.82

1.70

I prefer to repair over discarding

3.14

3.50

3.60

3.57

Products are not made as durable as in past

3.62

4.07

4.00

4.00

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N=12-14

N=44-47

N=356-366

N=278-284

I buy disposable products

3.93

3.20

3.18

3.13

I select products in recyclable packaging

3.62

3.07

3.46

3.50

I avoid buying aerosols

3.33

3.04

3.74

3.78

I recycle cans and bottles

4.64

4.26

4.37

4.44

I return beverage containers for deposit

3.69

3.45

3.09

3.05

 

 

 

Education                                                       Some H.S. HS Grad College  Grad school

Follow-up survey

Means

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N=5

N=11

N=107-110

N=89-93

I buy disposable products

.60

1.27

1.84

1.66

I select products in recyclable packaging

3.40

3.45

3.35

3.31

I avoid buying aerosols

3.80

3.72

3.83

3.89

I return beverage containers for deposit

2.80

3.09

2.89

2.92

I buy refills concentrates

1.00

1.64

1.99

1.89

I buy single-serving packaging

.80

1.00

1.47

1.26

I patronize repair shops

2.60

3.18

2.71

2.68

I recycle cans and bottles

3.20

3.18

3.60

3.66

I bring a bag to the store

1.60

1.64

2.03

2.04

 

 

 

The degree of educational level sometimes was loosely associated, positively or negatively, with certain environmental attitudes and behaviors (Table 19).  For example, in the baseline survey returning beverage containers for deposit was more likely to be practiced by those with less education.  Those with less education bought disposable products less frequently (both baseline and follow-up).  In the follow-up survey, bringing a bag to the store and buying refills and concentrates both increased with increasing education.  In general, recycling-related behaviors were practiced more across-the-board than those more associated with source reduction. Thus, it would appear that there is no consistent correlation between educational level and participation in environmental shopping and recycling behaviors.

 

Table 20    Selected Cross-tabs of Gender vs. Attitude and Behavior

 

Gender                                                                  Men           Women 

Baseline Survey

Means

ATTITUDES (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree)

N= 230-240

N= 443-453

People in the US buy/consume too much

4.06

4.38

Mandatory recycling infringes on my rights

2.07

1.65

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N= 234-235

N= 445-446

I avoid buying aerosols

3.37

3.91

I return beverage containers for deposit

2.85

3.24

I bring my own bag to the store

1.62

2.02

 

 

Gender                                                                    Men      Women    

Follow-up Survey

Means

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N= 72-74

N= 130-134

I avoid buying aerosols

3.84

3.88

I return beverage containers for deposit

2.83

3.01

I bring my own bag to the store

1.89

2.09

 

 

Where there was a noticeable disparity in the answers given by men and women, it was the women who exhibited the environmental behaviors and attitudes (Table 19).  Men considered that mandatory recycling infringed more on their rights.  Both sexes brought bags to the supermarket more often after the campaign.  The disparities between men and women seemed to be less after the campaign.

 

 

Table 21    Selected Cross-tabs of Age vs. Attitude and Behavior

 

 

Age                                                                             < 30     30 – 44     45 – 60   > 60

Baseline survey

Means

ATTITUDES (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree)

N=239

N=271-272

N=151-152

N=41-43

I prefer to buy disposable products

2.86

2.89

2.87

3.16

Products are not made as durably as in the past

3.72

3.99

4.33

4.37

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N=236

N=268

N=150

N=38

I select products in recyclable packaging

3.54

3.49

3.35

3.05

           

 

Age                                                                      < 30     30 – 44        45 - 60            > 60

Follow-up survey

Means

 

BEHAVIORS (1 = never; 5 = always)

N=81-83

N=73-76

N=40-43

N=15

I select products in recyclable packaging

3.35

3.43

3.09

3.33

I bring my own bag to the store

2.13

1.91

1.95

.94

I buy single-serving packaging

1.53

1.18

1.18

1.67

I buy disposable products

1.93

1.61

1.42

1.87

I buy refills and concentrates

2.16

1.84

1.60

1.73

I return beverage containers for deposit

2.96

2.93

3.03

2.53

 

 

In some cases the answers to the attitude and behavior questions were correlated positively with age (e.g., agreement with the statement that products are not made as durably as in the past), or negatively with age (e.g., I bring my own bag to the store, and I return beverage containers for deposit, I select products in recyclable packaging).  In other cases the middle-aged shoppers were more environmental than either the young or the old (e.g., purchasing fewer products in single-serving packaging).  The oldest shoppers said they preferred to buy disposable products more so than the other groups, but the youngest group bought the most refills and concentrates, but also the most disposable products.

 

 

 

Table 22    Importance of Mandatory Recycling Law in Motivating Attitudes / Behavior Amongst Demographic Groups: Means

                                                             (baseline survey)

 

(1 = of no importance;  5 = extremely important)

 

RACE

White

Black

Asian

Other

 

 

3.45

4.07

3.79

3.64

 

 

EDUCATION

Some HS

HS Grad

College

Grad school

 

 

3.71

3.96

3.34

3.62

 

 

GENDER

Men

Women

 

 

 

 

3.22

3.67

 

 

 

 

INCOME

< 20K

20K - 30K

30K - 40K

40K - 50K

> 50K

 

3.09

3.39

3.52

3.55

3.64

 

AGE

< 30

30 – 44

44 - 60

> 60

 

 

3.22

3.46

3.90

3.98

 

 

 

The groups that considered the extrinsic factor of a mandatory recycling law the most important in getting them to recycle were blacks, women, those with higher incomes and older shoppers.

 

 

Table 23   How Often Do You Bring a Reusable Bag With You?: 

                   Means Comparison Amongst Demographic Groups

 

(1 = occasionally; 4 = always) (baseline survey)

Mean, (Standard Deviation), N

 

RACE

White

Black

Asian

 

 

1.90  (1.2) n=570

1.58 (.89) n=45

2.12 (1.24) n=24

 

 

GENDER

Men

Women

 

 

 

1.62 (1.08) n=236

2.02 (1.22) n=449

 

 

 

AGE

< 30

30 - 44

45 - 60

> 60

 

1.98 (1.23) n=239

1.84 (1.15) n=270

1.87 (1.26) n=154

1.71 (1.01) n=41

 

The groups that most often brought a bag to the supermarket prior to the introduction of the educational treatment were Asians, women, and the younger shoppers.

 

 


 

Table 24      If You Were Offered Two Cents Would You Bring You Own Bag?

                  (baseline survey)

 

(1 = definitely not;  5 = definitely)

 

Mean, (Standard Deviation), n

GENDER

Men

Women

 

 

 

 

3.00 (1.27) n=245

3.54 (1.23)

n=457

 

 

 

 

 

INCOME

< 20K

20K - 30K

30K - 40K

40K - 50K

> 50K

 

3.44 (1.28)

n=71

3.45 (1.21)

n=127

3.53 (1.30)

n=131

3.33 (1.19)

n=92

3.16 (1.30)

n-267

 

 

AGE

< 30

30 – 44

45 - 60

> 60

 

 

3.57 (1.23)

n=241

3.18 (1.21)

n=278

3.30 (1.39)

n=156

3.19 (1.26)

n=43

 

 

 

Younger, lower income and women shoppers were more likely to be motivated to bring a bag to the store if a small, extrinsic inducement were proffered.  But, as with Table 23, the differences were so small, and standard deviations so large, that it is not possible to consider these differences statistically significant.

 

Comparisons of Means between Baseline Store Shoppers

In order to determine if the two cohorts of shoppers (east and west sides) were samples from essentially the same population, the test of mean difference between paired measures was used.   This test is conducted by comparing pairs of responses from shoppers from the east and west side stores.  The means are calculated by averaging the shoppers’ responses on individual questions.  For example, a mean of 4 for one of the behavior questions for which the answers are measured on a 1 to 5 scale, where 1 is never and 5 is always, indicates that the group as a whole practices the behavior frequently.  If the same groups are measured for the same questions subsequent to an educational intervention, and the mean response is 4.5, the difference of the means is 0.5.  The data can be further analyzed to determine if this difference is statistically significant.  

 

The groups that were compared were the full baseline group from the east side store and the baseline group from the west side store.  As expected, the shoppers' awareness, attitudes and self-reported behaviors and the purchases of target items made at one store before the education begins were not significantly different from those at the other store. The 2 tail prob values for the differences in means of east side vs. west side baseline groups varied from a low of .075 to 1.000, the latter representing no difference in means east side vs. west side the education for a particular question (People Buy/Consume too much).  This supports the null hypothesis of no difference of means.   At the other end of the spectrum, the .075 prob value indicates that there was a 7.5% probability that the difference in means for that variable was significant in statistical terms.  Using a standards significance level (a) of .05, we do not reject the null hypothesis in this case.  This demonstrates that the differences in means between the east and west side shoppers’ answers to the baseline surveys are not significant.  This was expected since the stores were selected to be in demographically similar areas, and the demographics of the east and west baseline respondents were also shown to be similar.  The mean values for these two groups of shoppers, as well as t values, and prob values are included as a table in Appendix SA.

 

 

Differences Between Persons Exposed and Not Exposed to Educational Materials

 

The results section indicated that many shoppers did not receive the educational treatment (i.e., they didn’t notice the brochures, posters, videos, etc.).  Since the shoppers that didn’t see the educational materials were exposed to everything else going on in the test stores (and in society in general) at the time that those shoppers that did get the experimental treatment, the shoppers not exposed to the treatment could be considered as controls.  Having a cohort of controls with which to compare any changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors is useful, since the difference between the controls and the experimental cohorts isolates the impact of the educational campaigns on the shoppers.  For this study those who did not see the brochures are considered to be the controls, since the brochures contained the most information.

 

Several comparisons of experimental cohorts with the controls can be made since the follow-up survey elicited information on shoppers’ recollection of each of the educational materials (i.e., brochures, Bring Your Own Bag signs, the bags themselves, and the videos).  Another type of variation in the experimental cohort is that those who did notice one or more aspect of the education varied in their degree of recollection of it.  For example, some did not have to be prompted to recall details of the educational treatment, and others did; some remembered specific details of the messages, and others didn’t.  Those who not only remembered the brochures, for example, and who also recalled a specific message (e.g., recycling, reuse, or resource conservation) could be considered to have received more educational treatment than those who merely remembered having seen the brochures.  Therefore, the answers from each of the subgroups that recalled different aspects of the educational materials and the messages contained in them were compared with the controls separately. 

 

Table 25 shows the changes in self-reported behavior that occurred at the each store after the educational campaign.  The six groups of shoppers that received educational treatments that were large enough to have a significant sample size were  (1) those who did see brochures (east [N=37-40] and west [N=52-54]), (2) those who saw brochures and remembered a recycling message (east [N=24-25] and west [N=25-26]), (3) those who saw the brochures and remembered either a reuse, conserve resources or pollution from production message (east side only [N=27-29]), and (4) those who saw the brochures and the video (west side only [N=21-22]).  Those groups of east and west side shoppers who didn’t see brochures were considered to be controls against which these intervention groups were compared.  Columns in the tables not only show the “before” and “after” percentages, but also the difference or net change between before and after for each group.   The difference between the net change of each educational treatment group (after – before) and the control group’s net change (after – before) is also depicted to show the incremental impact of the campaign on those who received the educational treatment (as compared with the controls).  Some of the results are puzzling. 

 

On the one hand, in some cases, the groups receiving more intervention became less environmental.  For example, they reported buying more products in single-serving packaging.  This net increase (vs. the controls) was a few percentage points for the east-side store but ranged from 18 to 30% at the west-side store.  (Perhaps there were more items available in single-serving packaging by the time the campaign was finished.)  Recycling of cans and bottles and patronage of repair shops occurred somewhat less frequently after the campaign among those receiving treatment vs. the controls.  In absolute terms though, recycling of cans and bottles at home was reported as often or always by over 80% of the respondents in all groups. 

 

Also disappointing was the fact that shoppers reported buying fewer products in recyclable packaging in both stores.  In absolute terms, 35 to 40% of east side shoppers reported buying recyclable packaging often or always after the campaign, as did 25 to 40% of west side shoppers.  But the east-side controls decreased such purchases by about 10%, and the west side controls by 20% before vs. after the campaign.  This disparity between the changes in the two stores’ controls probably caused a larger range in net decrease of the intervention groups (from 12 to 26%, depending on the intervention group) vs. the controls at the west-side store, though this comparison at the east-side store varied a only few percent in either direction.

 

On the other hand, the more intensive the educational treatment, the greater the number of respondents that brought cans and bottles back to the store for deposit.  This effect was across-the-board; those that saw the brochures were 12% more likely to bring the cans and bottles back to the east side store and 5% more likely on the west side.  But those who also remembered the resources message at the east-side store were 20% more likely to bring the cans and bottles back, and those remembering the recycling message were 24% more likely to bring them back to the east side store and were 30% more likely at the west-side store (vs. controls).  (In absolute terms, those who often or always brought these items back to the store for deposit increased considerably after the campaign, ending up between approximately 50% and 70%, still less than recycling at home.)  One conclusion that might be drawn from this is that economic considerations were driving behavior, since bringing back cans and bottles for deposit was more remunerative than giving them to the City for free, so home-based recycling was sacrificed slightly in favor of getting the deposit back. 

 

Also on the positive side, those receiving the educational treatments at the east side store bought fewer disposable products than the controls after the campaign (in five of the six intervention cases).  Specifically, shoppers bought from 20 to 36% fewer disposables than the controls (who bought more after the campaign than before).  Respondents increased their purchases of refills and concentrates after the campaign to a greater extent than the controls (ranging from 6 to 25% more on the east side, with the 25% representing the cohort remembering the resource message, and ranging from negligible to 26% more on the west side with the higher number representing those who recollected the recycling message).   In absolute terms, those who reported buying refills and concentrates often or always after the campaign were well in excess of 50% for east-side shoppers.  The same was true for purchase of disposable products.

 

In the west-side store there was great variation in those who bought disposable products.  Those who saw the brochures and the video bought 15% fewer disposables than the controls, but those who saw the brochures and remembered a recycling message bought 21% more disposables than the controls. There were also mixed results insofar as bringing a bag to the store was concerned, but the percentages varied just a few percent in either direction.  In absolute terms, more east side than west side shoppers reported bringing a bag to the store often or always after the campaign, over 20% (east) and 10 to 15% (west), depending on intervention group.  But the east-siders also bought more disposable products than west-siders in absolute terms after the education (over 50% vs. over 40%, respectively).

 

That impacts of the educational campaign appear to trend in different directions depending on which question was asked, indicates that the different survey methods (in-person baseline vs. telephone follow-up) did not result in consistent samping error with respect to environmental behaviors.  In some cases the behaviors became less environmental after the educational treatments as compared with the control group, but in other cases the education seemed to have a positive effect.  

 

Tables 26 and 27 show the changes in the amount and source of knowledge that occurred at the stores after the educational treatments (these are distilled from Appendix SA).  Oddly, more respondents knew more about what was collected in the City’s recycling program and environmental shopping in general before the educational campaign vs. afterwards, and only a few more shoppers knew that the City’s recycling program was mandatory after the campaign.  There was not much difference between the cohorts receiving different levels of intervention, with one notable exception.   The west side shoppers who saw brochures and videos experienced a smaller fall-off in knowledge about the recycling program and environmental shopping than the controls by twenty to thirty percent in four cases (e.g., metal and tin cans, foil, and hearing about environmental shopping).  At the same time, these same shoppers gave the wrong answer for whether the City picks up plastic bags in its recycling program, and by the same margin.

 

Table 27 (and the more complete depiction in Appendix SA) shows changes in where shoppers got their environmental information before and after the campaign.  It’s hard to fathom how, in nearly every case, the shoppers claimed to have gotten far less environmental information after the campaign than before it.  A reduction in the City’s overall recycling education program during the course of the campaign could explain some of this change (e.g., the drop by 30 to 50 percentage points in receipt of information via recycling mailings, and a drop by 50 to 70 percentage points by those receiving information in the subway).  The recycling program was in an expansion phase in the late summer of 1993 and DOS had rolled out an educational program at that time.  However, this educational program had been completed long before the end of the supermarket environmental shopping campaign, 

 

An interesting phenomenon about these data is that patterns emerge if one looks only at the columns of “after” data.  When examined this way, there is an apparent relationship between the amount of education that the campaign provided and the percentage of shoppers that said they received recycling or environmental shopping knowledge from each source.  This relationship is particularly evident for environmental shopping knowledge from posters and brochures, and in-store videos.

 

Comparison of East- Vs. West-Side Store Data

Another of the hypotheses tested was that the west-side’s educational program would result in a more significant change in knowledge, attitudes, and/or self-reported shopping behavior as compared with the east side store’s program.  It was expected that those exposed to the more intensive educational treatment given at the west-side would behave more environmentally than those given the basic educational treatment for the east-side.

 

In most cases, comparing impacts of the campaign on the environmental behaviors of east vs. west-side shoppers, there was little difference between shoppers at the two stores.  Where a difference was found between cohorts of shoppers who received the interventions at the east vs. west side stores, east side shoppers reported more net increases in environmentally sound purchasing and other behaviors (i.e., buying less single-serving packaging and disposable products, and buying more recyclable packaging, and patronizing more repair shops).

 

With regard to knowledge about the City’s recycling program, there was not much difference between east and west side, with the exception of the shoppers on the west side who saw the brochures and video, more of whom knew about the recycling program’s mandatory nature.   In absolute terms, a large proportion (at least 75%) of all the respondents knew the City required residents to separate recyclables.  West side intervention shoppers increased their knowledge more about what materials the City picked up for recycling than the west side controls, vs. their east side counterparts.  East side intervention shoppers that saw the brochures, and those who saw brochures and remembered the recycling message, knew about environmental shopping more than the west side shoppers.  But comparing only the shoppers in each store who received more educational treatment, the shoppers from the west-side store knew more than the east side shoppers.  In absolute terms, after the campaign, west side respondents who saw brochures and the videos knew which materials were picked up for recycling, and said they knew about environmental shopping 20% to 30% more than any other intervention or control cohort at either store.

 

East and west side shoppers differed in where they got their environmental information after the campaign.  Comparing those who saw the project brochures and recalled the recycling message in each store, 20% more east-side shoppers got recycling information from posters and brochures than their west side counterparts.  But 15% more west side shoppers, who saw the project brochures, but didn’t recall any specific message, said they got recycling and environmental shopping information from posters and brochures than their east side counterparts.  As would be expected, 15 to 20% more west side shoppers, who saw the project brochures and videos, claim to have received both recycling and environmental shopping information from in-store videos after the campaign as compared with the east side shoppers.   Possibly due to the complementary effect of the in-store videos in the west side store, 10 to 20% more west side shoppers who saw the brochures and videos said they got environmental shopping information from posters and brochures, as compared with the various post-intervention cohorts from the east side store.  Similarly, almost 10% more west-side shoppers who saw the brochures and videos said they got environmental shopping information from their friends, as compared with the east-side cohorts.

 

Table 25        Changes in Behavior vs. Extent of Educational Intervention*

 

East side

Didn’t see brochures

(controls)

Saw Brochures

Saw Brochures &

Recycling Message

Saw Brochures & either resources, reuse or pollution message

 

Before

After

Change

Before

After

Change

Diff. From

Control

Before

After

Change

Diff

 from

Control

Before

After

Change

Diff.

from control

Buy Disposable Products

20.60%

55.50%

34.40%

43.20%

55.00%

11.80%

-22.60%

54.20%

52.00%

-2.20%

-36.60%

48.10%

62.00%

13.90%

-20.50%

Buy Refills/

Concentrates

43.30%

49.10%

5.80%

38.50%

62.50%

24.00%

18.20%

48.00%

60.00%

12.00%

6.20%

31.00%

62.10%

31.10%

25.30%

Buy single-servings

20.00%

27.10%

7.10%

20.50%

32.50%

12.00%

4.90%

20.00%

40.00%

20.00%

12.90%

20.60%

37.90%

17.30%

10.20%

Buy Recyclable Packaging

56.70%

35.00%

-21.70%

60.60%

40.00%

-20.60%

1.10%

58.30%

36.00%

-22.30%

-0.60%

55.10%

37.90%

-17.20%

4.50%

Avoid aerosols

66.70%

67.30%

1.00%

76.90%

70.00%

-6.90%

-7.90%

76.00%

64.00%

-12.00%

-13.00%

72.40%

69.00%

-3.40%

-4.40%

Return deposit containers

41.60%

58.60%

17.00%

36.90%

65.00%

28.10%

11.10%

28.00%

68.00%

40.00%

23.00%

35.70%

72.40%

36.70%

19.70%

Bring Bag

6.70%

13.60%

6.90%

20.50%

22.50%

2.00%

-4.90%

16.00%

24.00%

8.00%

1.10%

20.60%

24.10%

3.50%

-3.40%

Patronize repair shops

35.60%

31.70%

-3.90%

28.20%

15.00%

-13.20%

-9.30%

32.00%

24.00%

-8.00%

-4.10%

24.10%

13.80%

-10.30%

-6.40%

Recycle cans/bottles

83.30%

81.70%

-1.60%

89.70%

80.00%

-9.70%

-8.10%

84.00%

76.00%

-8.00%

-6.40%

89.60%

79.30%

-10.30%

-8.70%

West side

Didn’t see brochures

(controls)

Saw Brochures

Saw Brochures &

Recycling Message

Saw Brochures & Video

 

Before

After

Change

Before

After

Change

Diff.

from

Control

Before

After

Change

Diff

 from

Control

Before

After

Change

Diff

 from control

Buy Disposable Products

30.00%

42.60%

12.60%

32.70%

42.60%

9.90%

-2.70%

24.00%

57.70%

33.70%

21.10%

42.80%

40.90%

-1.90%

-14.50%

Buy Refills/

Concentrates

44.50%

45.40%

0.90%

41.50%

51.90%

10.40%

9.50%

30.80%

57.60%

26.80%

25.90%

52.40%

54.60%

2.20%

1.30%

Buy single-servings

19.40%

12.50%

-6.90%

18.50%

30.20%

11.70%

18.60%

11.50%

34.60%

23.10%

30.00%

22.70%

38.10%

15.40%

22.30%

Buy Recyclable Packaging

49.30%

38.90%

-10.40%

66.70%

29.60%

-37.10%

-26.70%

57.70%

26.90%

-30.80%

-20.40%

63.60%

40.90%

-22.70%

-12.30%

Avoid aerosols

59.10%

60.30%

1.20%

60.40%

59.30%

-1.10%

-2.30%

48.00%

65.40%

17.40%

16.20%

54.50%

59.10%

4.60%

3.40%

Return deposit containers

51.50%

54.70%

3.20%

46.20%

57.70%

11.50%

8.30%

34.60%

68.00%

33.40%

30.20%

47.60%

50.00%

2.40%

-0.80%

Bring Bag

10.90%

13.30%

2.40%

9.30%

9.50%

0.20%

-2.20%

3.80%

12.00%

8.20%

5.80%

18.10%

14.30%

-3.80%

-6.20%

Patronize repair shops

29.60%

29.40%

-0.20%

41.60%

29.80%

-11.80%

-11.60%

34.60%

24.00%

-10.60%

-10.40%

40.90%

19.10%

-21.80%

-21.60%

Recycle cans/bottles

90.40%

91.60%

1.20%

88.90%

84.90%

-4.00%

-5.20%

80.80%

84.60%

3.80%

2.60%

86.30%

81.80%

-4.50%

-5.70%

 

* Percentages refer to those answering ‘often or always’.


 

Table 26      Changes in Knowledge vs. Extent of Educational Intervention*

 

East side

Didn’t see Brochures

(controls)

Saw Brochures

Saw Brochures &

Recycling Message

Saw Brochures & either resources, reuse or pollution message

 

Before

After

Change

Before

After

Change

Diff. From

Control

Before

After

Change

Diff

 from

Control

Before

After

Change

Diff.

from control

Govt Require Separation of Materials

75.40%

80.00%

4.60%

75.00%

84.60%

9.60%

5.00%

76.00%

83.30%

7.30%

2.70%

79.30%

82.10%

2.80%

-1.80%

NYC Pick up

Plastic Bottles

95.10%

82.00%

-13.10%

85.00%

72.50%

-12.50%

0.60%

88.00%

64.00%

-24.00%

-10.90%

89.70%

65.50%

-24.20%

-11.10%

NYC Pick up

Plastic Bags

51.80%

47.50%

-4.30%

33.30%

60.00%

26.70%

31.00%

41.70%

68.00%

26.30%

30.60%

35.70%

65.50%

29.80%

34.10%

NYC Pick up

Aluminum Cans

83.30%

68.90%

-14.40%

80.00%

82.50%

2.50%

16.90%

84.00%

84.00%

0.00%

14.40%

86.20%

82.80%

-3.40%

11.00%

NYC Pick up

Aluminum Foil

67.80%

39.30%

-28.50%

57.50%

45.00%

-12.50%

16.00%

52.00%

44.00%

-8.00%

20.50%

62.10%

41.40%

-20.70%

7.80%

NYC Pick up Tin Cans

66.70%

41.00%

-25.70%

65.00%

40.00%

-25.00%

0.70%

64.00%

40.00%