• Project dates: 2024–2027


This project will provide Australia’s first detailed account of the lived experience of food-related single-use plastic through everyday practices and analyse the limitations in existing policies and programmes arising from the uneven impacts of plastic bans across society. 

Project overview

This project aims to investigate the uneven impacts of interventions that target consumers’ engagement with single-use food plastics by utilising critical social science approaches. This research expects to create new knowledge through an evidence base in the area of sustainable consumption and waste studies using innovative qualitative techniques. Expected outcomes of this project include conceptual and methodological approaches that enhance societal capabilities for practicable waste management. This will provide significant benefits by enhancing Australia’s capacity to develop and integrate lived experiences of single-use food plastics use into the current and future National Waste Policy and National Plastics Plan.

Project stages

Work Package 1 involves investigating consumer practices that include single-use food plastics to co-produce detailed qualitative data with participants through semi structured interviews and video essays.

Work Package 2 will generate qualitative data by mapping the connections these practices make to larger social structures through focus groups with intermediaries.

Work Package 3 will develop and test a capability development framework for policy development as related tosingle-use food plastics waste management measures using the Delphi survey technique.


This project is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), DE240100100


If you would like to know more about this project, please contact Dr Bhavna Middha via bhavna.middha@rmit.edu.au

Key People

Associate Director & Deputies

Dr Bhavna Middha

Dr Bhavna Middha

Research Fellow