0.050.09975 0

CIRANO-CIREQ Workshop on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics


Friday 14 Apr 2023
From 9:30AM To 12PM

This workshop is intended for researchers and doctoral students in economics who are interested in the economics of natural resources and the environment. 

This April 14 workshop will be hosted by Étienne Billette de Villemeur, professor at the University of Lille and by Valérie Patreau, doctoral student at Polytechnique Montréal.

Consumer interest and willingness to pay for reusable food packaging options

Plastic use has increased dramatically in many sectors, including single-use disposables and packaging in the food value chain, posing significant pollution and end-of-life management challenges. In Canada, only 9% of plastic is recycled and 47% of plastic waste is packaging. Improving waste management will not be enough, changes in consumption patterns and behaviors to limit waste at the source are needed. The objective of the work carried out is to better understand how source reduction of plastic packaging can be an asset in a zero-waste objective. Using a contingent valuation method, an analyze of the willingness to pay (WTP) for different food and household products has been realized. A large pan-Canadian survey has been conducted and data collected on the purchasing preferences of 2002 Canadian households. Preliminary results indicate that consumers do not appear to be willing to pay more for bulk products with reusable packaging. Different socio-demographic and attitudinal parameters, such as pro-environmental behaviors, influence WTP. The originality of this work is to provide an economic perspective on the source reduction of single-use containers and changes in consumption practices in the context of the zero-waste movement and the circular economy.


Valérie Patreau, Sophie Bernard, Justin Leroux, Marie Bellemare, Joliann Morissette

Titre: "Oil, gas and plastic: joint-production from non-renewable resource"


We explore the economics of non-renewable resources that give rise to the joint production of multiple products. Specifically, we analyze the case of oil extraction, which generates both energy and plastic. Along traditional models of exhaustible resources, we assume that energy is essential to consumers, while plastic is non-essential. However, we explore a range of scenarios that consider i) asymmetric backstop technologies or substitutes between the two outputs, ii) endogenous choices in plastic versus energy production, and iii) the presence of externalities.

The introduction of plastic in the utility function increases both utility and marginal utility, that is "energy efficiency". As a result, plastic production may reduce energy consumption. However, the profitability of resource extraction also increases with plastic production, which can lead to cheaper energy prices. Ultimately, the impact of plastic on the extraction path depends on the magnitude of the utility cross-derivative and the intertemporal elasticity of substitution. We examine to conclude the interplay between plastic production and climate policy.


 Étienne Billette



1130 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3A 2M8, Canada

Registration form

  The registration period for the event is over.