Change is in the bag

  • Human behaviour is often difficult to change, especially when the behavioural change offers limited personal gain. A popular example is the use of plastic bags, where the shift away from plastic benefits the environment, but may inconvenience the individual.

    (c) Carolyn Coles Flickr

  • Policy mechanisms used to transition away from plastic bag use include voluntary schemes, education, bag tax and bag bans. These measures have created a shift to less plastic bag use, though this has focused on large carrier bags.
  • A blind spot for many municipalities is the use of smaller plastic bags, such as those used to carry produce. Only Australia manages to count their use.

Having garnered people’s attention and successfully influencing a behavioural shift, Government now has the opportunity to consider how this momentum can be used to influence the use of other plastic materials (e.g. small bags, packaging).

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