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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dikgang, Johane & Visser, Martine, 2010. "Behavioral Response to Plastic Bag Legislation in Botswana," Discussion Papers dp-10-13-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-13-efd
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/EfD-DP-10-13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Reviva Hasson & Anthony Leiman & Martine Visser, 2007. "The Economics Of Plastic Bag Legislation In South Africa1," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(1), pages 66-83, March.
    2. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, December.
    3. Chongwoo Choe & Iain Fraser, 2001. "On the Flexibility of Optimal Policies for Green Design," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(4), pages 367-371, April.
    4. Frank Convery & Simon McDonnell & Susana Ferreira, 2007. "The most popular tax in Europe? Lessons from the Irish plastic bags levy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(1), pages 1-11, September.
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    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 19:46:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Jingze Jiang, 2016. "Peer Pressure in Voluntary Environmental Programs: a Case of the Bag Rewards Program," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 155-190, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Richard J. Kish, 2018. "Using Legislation To Reduce One†Time Plastic Bag Usage," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 224-239, June.
    4. Kornhauser, Lewis & Lu, Yijia & Tontrup, Stephan, 2020. "Testing a fine is a price in the lab," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    5. Doris Knoblauch & Linda Mederake & Ulf Stein, 2018. "Developing Countries in the Lead—What Drives the Diffusion of Plastic Bag Policies?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-24, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    demand; environment; litter; plastic bags; price;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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