Plastic bag politics: modifying consumer behaviour for sustainable development

Ritch, Elaine and Brennan, Carol and Macleod, Calum (2009) Plastic bag politics: modifying consumer behaviour for sustainable development. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 33 (2). pp. 168-174. ISSN 14706423

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The adverse environmental impacts of plastic bags, including production energy costs, limited lifespan, increasing landfill content and inability to biodegrade, provide symbolic and practical evidence of a 'throwaway' consumer culture which acts as a significant barrier to sustainable consumption in particular and sustainable development in general. Decoupling consumer behaviour from plastic bag use is therefore an important challenge in the pursuit of sustainable consumption as a precursor to achieving sustainable development. This article provides a critical evaluation of that challenge, set within the theoretical framework of sustainable development. It examines the adverse environmental impacts of plastic bag use and evaluates initiatives by governments and businesses internationally to change consumer behaviour regarding the use of plastic bags in line with sustainable development principles. The politics of this agenda are analysed using a combination of consumer policy and public policy perspectives. Finally, the article draws conclusions regarding the earlier analysis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consumer principles • plastic bags • sustainable consumption • sustainable development
Divisions: School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management > Business, Enterprise & Management
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2009 14:11
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2017 15:38


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