The English plastic bag charge: Changes in attitudes and behaviour. [Project Report]
This report presents the results of an ESRC-funded research project that examined the behavioural and attitudinal impacts of the English plastic bag charge that was introduced in October 2015. The project used a mixed-methods longitudinal approach, and included a national survey, a diary-interview study, and supermarket observation study. Overall, the research has shown that the English plastic bag charge has made a strong and positive impact on people’s behaviours and attitudes. The research found that the charge was eff ective at breaking old habits, and that it became more popular as people adapted to the policy. Evidence was also found that the charge increased environmental awareness and the acceptability of other environmental policies. The success of the plastic bag charge in eff ectively changing plastic bag use and increasing support for other charges to reduce waste suggests that similar policies could also be successfully implemented, such as a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles or a charge on disposable coff ee cups.