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Behavioural Response To Plastic Bag Legislation In Botswana


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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Article provided by Economic Society of South Africa in its journal South African Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 80 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 123-133

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Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:80:y:2012:i:1:p:123-133
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521311120.
  4. 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.
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