Consumer practices (WP2)

Consumer practices

How can we change the current use of antifouling products among leisure boat owners in the Baltic? The wide-spread use of toxic antifoulants depends on their perceived superiority in terms of efficiency and availability on the market. In this part of the CHANGE project we describe why leisure boat owners find it hard to switch to environmentally friendly antifouling techniques and propose how these techniques can be accepted and distributed on the market.


The overall objective of this work package is to develop a model for behavioral explanatory framework for consumer use of antifouling products/techniques among leisure boat users/owners in the Baltic region. Input from the performance evaluation of antifouling techniques will be crucial in developing this behavioral framework. Studies on green consumption have thus far failed to deliver industry-wide solutions and long-term changes in consumer behavior. Here, through the lens of theories of practice, we will gather data among leisure boat owners. This would mean spending significant time in the boating culture for defining the boundaries of the phenomenon of current antifouling practices relying on toxic antifoulants, detrimental to the marine environment. We will collate data that describe the similarities and differences in leisure boat owner’s experiences and behaviors that will explain the ability or inability of this culture to adapt into sustainable antifouling practices. We will gain an understanding of how antifouling practices connect into the greater experience of boating life. We will be building theories of sustainable practice from intermingling human and non-human elements, e.g., boats, technologies, regulations, traditions, cultural artifacts. These theories will be used to identify strategic opportunities for interventions and guidance of boat owners leading to the desired change. The resulting theoretical model for behavioral explanatory framework may be applied in other industries and contexts where a greening of consumer practices is needed.

How can environmentally friendly antifouling techniques be accepted and distributed on the market?

Scientific investigations of similarities and differences of current practices among Baltic leisure boat users/owners will inform consumer culture theory literature and result in scientific articles. These results will be the basis for recommendations to public policy guidelines and market communication for encouraging sustainable consumption in general. In addition, the results will be communicated on-site to end users and stakeholders through. The specific objectives of this work package are:

  • Describe and explain antifouling practices as a part of leisure boating in the Baltic.
  • Identify material, symbolic and cultural barriers to acceptance of environmentally friendly antifouling techniques.
  • Give recommendations for structure, organizational marketplace educational efforts to reduce the use of toxic antifoulants.

The following people are engaged in WP 2:

Social Sciences
Diane Martin, Emma Mäenpää, Cecilia Solér, Bianca Koroschetz, Magnus DahlströmHenri Weijo

Environmental Sciences
Mia Dahlström, Erik Ytreberg, Britta Eklund, Friederike Ziegler, Burkard Watermann