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.
Background and aims. This research reported here presents findings from an evaluation of the development and implementation of the Healthy Community Challenge Fund (otherwise known as the ‘Healthy Towns’ programme). A key aim of the research has been to inform the development of future environmental and systems‐based ‘whole town’ approaches to obesity prevention. The overall aim of the Healthy Towns programme was to pilot and stimulate novel ‘whole town’ approaches that tackle the ‘obesogenic’ environment in order to reduce obesity, with a particular focus on improving diet and increasing physical activity. Through a competitive tender process, nine towns were selected that represented urban areas across England ranging from small market towns to areas of large cities. The fund provided £30 million over the period 2008‐2011, divided amongst the nine towns. The amounts awarded ranged from £900,000 to £4.85 million. Towns were instructed to be innovative and were given freedom to develop a locally‐specific programme of interventions. This report supplements local process and impact evaluations undertaken by each town (not reported here) by taking an overall view of the programme’s development and implementation. Our evaluation therefore addressed the following research questions: 1. What kinds of interventions were delivered across the Healthy Towns programme? 2. Were environmental and infrastructural interventions equitably delivered? 3. How was the Healthy Towns programme theorised and translated into practice? 4. How was evidence used in the selection and design of interventions? 5. What are the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a systems approach to obesity prevention?
The European Union was an exceptional achievement. It brought together and in peace peoples speaking different languages and submersed in different cultures, proving that it was possible to create a shared framework of human rights across a continent that was not long ago tormented by murderous chauvinism, racism, and barbarity. It could have been the proverbial Beacon on the Hill, showing the world how peace and solidarity may be snatched from the jaws of age-old conflict and bigotry. But things turned out differently. Today, a common bureaucracy and a common currency divide Europeans who were beginning to unite despite their different languages and cultures. A confederacy of myopic politicians, economically naïve officials, and financially incompetent experts submit slavishly to the edicts of financial and industrial conglomerates, alienating people and stirring up a dangerous anti-European backlash. Proud peoples are being turned against each other. Nationalism, extremism and racism are being re-awakened. With contributions from some of the world s foremost thinkers, artists and politicians covering the full spectrum of concerns for the future of the Union, this volume presents realistic and viable alternatives to the mainstream barrage of dreadful prospects - a true vision for Europe.
Background. Personal authenticity, as the ability to be true to oneself, is traditionally studied in the perspective of its protective role for the individual, and is only beginning to be studied in relation to the surrounding world. In this study, it is suggested that authentic people may be more environmentally aware and concerned. The theoretical foundations were: person-centered approach, subject psychology, and the modern research of pro-environmental behavior.
Objective. We explored the links between authenticity and pro-environmental behavior within two ways of conceptualizing authenticity – person-centered and subject psychology, and also examined whether these connections are gender-related.
Design. 430 Russian students (Mage = 19.19; SDage = 1.22; 79.5% women) participated in the study. Authenticity was measured both by the revised Russian version of the Authenticity Scale, and a new tool, the Moscow Authenticity Scale, developed on the basis of subject psychology. To measure pro-environmental behavior, we created a new instrument, the Ecological Lifestyle Scale, comprising Social Activities and Ecological Self-restraint subscales.
Results. We present two new scales, the Moscow Authenticity Scale and the Ecological Lifestyle Scale, along with a modification of the Authenticity scale. It is found that women are more likely to exercise pro-environmental behavior than men; however, connections between personal authenticity and pro-environmental behavior are stronger in the male group. Authenticity, considered within the frame of subject psychology, better nuances the relations between personal authenticity and pro-environmental behavior than the person-centered model does.
Conclusion. Authenticity is associated with pro-environmental behavior, but does not predict it accurately enough. Future research of moderating or mediating variables is suggested.
This article focuses on the governing system of the mitigation of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. Policies and measures of the Baltic Sea coastal countries, the macro--regional (HELCOM) level, and the level of the European Union are described and governance challenges explicated. We found that the main challenges at different governance levels include: differences between coastal countries in terms of environmental conditions including environmental awareness, overlaps of policies between different levels, the lack of adequate spatial and temporal specification of policies, and the lack of policy integration. To help to meet these challenges, we suggest closer involvement of stakeholders and the public, the improvement of the interplay of institutions, and the introduction of a “primus motor” for the governance of the mitigation of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
This article describes the expierence of studying factors influencing the social well-being of educational migrants as mesured by means of a psychological well-being scale (A. Perrudet-Badoux, G.A. Mendelsohn, J.Chiche, 1988) previously adapted for Russian by M.V. Sokolova. A statistical analysis of the scale's reliability is performed. Trends in dynamics of subjective well-being are indentified on the basis the correlations analysis between the condbtbions of adaptation and its success rate, and potential mechanisms for developing subjective well-being among student migrants living in student hostels are described. Particular attention is paid to commuting as a factor of adaptation.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.