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The Welsh Single-Use Carrier Bag Charge and behavioural spillover

Thomas, Gregory Owen ORCID:, Poortinga, Wouter ORCID: and Sautkina, Elena 2016. The Welsh Single-Use Carrier Bag Charge and behavioural spillover. Journal of Environmental Psychology 47 , pp. 126-135. 10.1016/j.jenvp.2016.05.008

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A Single-Use Carrier Bag Charge (SUCBC) requires bags to be sold for a small fee, instead of free of charge. SUCBCs may produce ‘spillover’ effects, where other pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours could increase or decrease. We investigate the 2011 Welsh SUCBC, and whether spillover occurs in other behaviours and attitudes. Using the Understanding Society Survey (n = 17,636), results show that use of own shopping bags increased in Wales, compared to England and Scotland. Increased use of own bags was linked to increases in six other sustainable behaviours, although changes were significantly smaller in Wales for three of these behaviours. Increased own bag use was linked to stronger environmental views, but effects were weaker in Wales for two out of three measures. We conclude that the Welsh SUCBC effectively encouraged bag re-use, but with minimal changes in other environmental attitudes and behaviours, due to the external motivation to change behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0272-4944
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 May 2016
Date of Acceptance: 21 May 2016
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 20:21

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