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No plastic bag campaign day in Malaysia and the policy implication

Author

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  • Irina Zen

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  • Rahmalan Ahamad
  • Wahid Omar

Abstract

The weekly No Plastic Bag Campaign Day comprises of an added charge of MYR 0.20 (USD 0.06) per plastic bag in supermarkets and grocery stores. The objective is to reduce plastic bag consumption and save the environment. However, the campaign has provoked a range of reactions from the public including consumers, policy makers, environmentalists and the plastic industry. Considering consumers as the major consequence, this paper evaluates the impact of the campaign on consumer awareness, knowledge, attitude and behavior and discusses and explores the various implications of the policy. The study gathers a questionnaire survey from 262 households in the State of Johor and employs a semi-structured interview with the relevant stakeholders. A descriptive statistical analysis as well as T test and correlations analysis has been performed using the Statistical Software for Social Science. The T test analysis explains the complex relationship between attitude and behavior. Consumers are more supportive of the plastic bag ban in the supermarkets but not its extension to other types of public markets. The study records the consumers’ behavior-changing process in the three types of anti-consumer behavior, listed as (1) fully anti-consumption (67 %), (2) partial anti-consumption (33 %) and (3) no anti-consumption this last group comprising of those who resent and dissatisfy of the No Plastic Bag Campaign. The first type of fully anti-consumption behavior reveals the potential of reusable shopping bag practice to be implemented coupled with the educational Bring Your Own Shopping Bag campaign. The plastic bag levy in Malaysia can be seen as part of the government effort to create a sustainable consumption society; however, it needs a support from the regulatory or legislative framework that will provide clear guidelines and mechanisms for consumers, the retailers, supermarkets and the plastic industry. The implications of plastic bag usage for garbage bin liners as part of the basic requirement of the solid waste management reveal the urgency to look at the plastic bag levy from the solid waste management perspective. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Irina Zen & Rahmalan Ahamad & Wahid Omar, 2013. "No plastic bag campaign day in Malaysia and the policy implication," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1259-1269, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:endesu:v:15:y:2013:i:5:p:1259-1269
    DOI: 10.1007/s10668-013-9437-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Iyer, Rajesh & Muncy, James A., 2009. "Purpose and object of anti-consumption," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 160-168, February.
    2. Johane Dikgang & Martine Visser, 2012. "Behavioural Response To Plastic Bag Legislation In Botswana," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 80(1), pages 123-133, March.
    3. Lee, Michael S.W. & Motion, Judith & Conroy, Denise, 2009. "Anti-consumption and brand avoidance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 169-180, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sheng-Hsiung Chang & Ching-Hsien Chou, 2018. "Consumer Intention toward Bringing Your Own Shopping Bags in Taiwan: An Application of Ethics Perspective and Theory of Planned Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-1, May.
    2. Erkan Arı & Veysel Yılmaz, 2017. "Consumer attitudes on the use of plastic and cloth bags," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 1219-1234, August.
    3. Luciano Ferreira Silva & Arnoldo José Hoyos Guevara & Ernesto D. R. Santibanez Gonzalez & Paulo Sergio Gonçalves Oliveira, 2019. "Evolution toward environment sustainable behavior: search for survival in the plastic industry in Brazil," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 1291-1320, June.
    4. Leticia Sarmento dos Muchangos & Akihiro Tokai & Atsuko Hanashima, 2019. "Greenhouse gas emissions and cost assessments of municipal solid waste treatment and final disposal in Maputo City," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 145-163, February.
    5. Bishal Bharadwaj, 2016. "Plastic Bag Ban in Nepal: Enforcement and Effectiveness," Working Papers id:11548, eSocialSciences.

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