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Behavioral Response to Plastic Bag Legislation in Botswana

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  • Dikgang, Johane
  • Visser, Martine

Abstract

This paper investigates the use of charges and standards in dealing with a common externality, plastic litter from shopping bags in Botswana. The country passed a plastic bag tax (effective 2007) to curb the plastic bag demand. Interestingly, the legislation did not force retailers to charge for plastic bags, which they did voluntarily at different prices. We assessed the environmental effectiveness and efficiency of the plastic bag legislation by analyzing consumers’ sensitivity to the improvement of the plastic bag and related price charges. The introduction of the plastic bag levy led to a significant decline in the consumption of plastic bags per 1,000 Botswana pulas of shopping. The partial success of the Botswana levy was due to the constantly high prices of the bags.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-10-13-efd.

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Date of creation: 25 May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-13-efd

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Keywords: demand; environment; litter; plastic bags; price;

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  1. Chongwoo Choe & Iain Fraser, 2001. "On the Flexibility of Optimal Policies for Green Design," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(4), pages 367-371, April.
  2. Reviva Hasson & Anthony Leiman & Martine Visser, 2007. "The Economics Of Plastic Bag Legislation In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(1), pages 66-83, 03.
  3. Frank Convery & Simon McDonnell & Susana Ferreira, 2007. "The most popular tax in Europe? Lessons from the Irish plastic bags levy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(1), pages 1-11, September.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The impact of taxing plastic bags
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-07-16 14:46:00
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Cited by:
  1. Irina Zen & Rahmalan Ahamad & Wahid Omar, 2013. "No plastic bag campaign day in Malaysia and the policy implication," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1259-1269, October.

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