No Plastic Bag Campaign Day in Malaysia and the Policy Implication

Zen, Irina Safitri and Ahamad, Rahmalan and Omar, Wahid (2013) No Plastic Bag Campaign Day in Malaysia and the Policy Implication. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 15 (5). pp. 1259-1269. ISSN 1387-585X

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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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anti-consumption behavior; Consumer behavior; Plastic bag; Plastic bag levy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Built Environment > Urban and Regional Planning
Depositing User: Norazreen Ismail
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2014 05:47
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2014 05:47

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