Plastic shopping bags: policy instruments for plastic bag reduction / Muhammad Hakim Noh

Noh, Muhammad Hakim (2013) Plastic shopping bags: policy instruments for plastic bag reduction / Muhammad Hakim Noh. Degree thesis, Universiti Teknologi MARA.


The plastic bag has become synonymous with our culture today. With almost 1 trillion plastic shopping
bags consumed every year, their use is widespread, multifaceted, and convenient. However despite
popularity, public concern over the current and future impacts of plastic shopping bags have been on the
rise. Due to strong public pressure for government action, governments around the world are taking
measures to address the issues associated with plastic bag use. To date, a number of countries have
implemented plastic bag instruments which have succesfully reduced consumption and addressed
impacts. On the other hand, a number of countries have also been mediocre or unsuccessful in
signifcantly reducing consumption and impacts.
This research provides an analysis of plastic bag policy instruments that can be used in order to assist
policymakers in choosing an effective plastic bag policy. Each of the instruments is evaluated against
social, environmental, and economic criteria, and is scored by the impacts and the expected outcomes.
Plastic bag bans are stringent, costly to stakeholders, and are less likely to be publicly accepted. A levy on
plastic bags are costly, but facilitates consumer choice and generates revenue. Lastly, while voluntary
actions by retailers are inexpensive, they are weakly sanctioned and nominally reduce impacts. Analyzed
against all criteria, this research suggests that the economic instrument, a plastic bag levy, is the most
effective policy instrument for governments to address plastic shopping bags.


Item Type: Thesis (Degree)
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Noh, Muhammad Hakim
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General) > Public policy (General). Policy sciences > Malaysia
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts > Other arts and art industries > Shopping bags
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Melaka > Alor Gajah Campus > Faculty of Art and Design
Keywords: Plastic bags, sustainability, policy instrument, policy analysis, bag, levy
Date: 2013
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