EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Bag leakage: The effect of disposable carryout bag regulations on unregulated bags

Rebecca Taylor ()

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2019, vol. 93, issue C, 254-271

Abstract: Leakage occurs when partial regulation of consumer products results in increased consumption of these products in unregulated domains. This article quantifies plastic leakage from the banning of plastic carryout bags. Using quasi-random policy variation in California, I find the elimination of 40 million pounds of plastic carryout bags is offset by a 12 million pound increase in trash bag purchases—with small, medium, and tall trash bag sales increasing by 120%, 64%, and 6%, respectively. The results further reveal 12–22% of plastic carryout bags were reused as trash bags pre-regulation and show bag bans shift consumers towards fewer but heavier bags. With a substantial proportion of carryout bags already reused in a way that avoided the manufacture and purchase of another plastic bag, policy evaluations that ignore leakage effects overstate the regulation's welfare gains.

Keywords: Leakage; Partial regulation; Environmental policy; Plastic; Consumer behavior; Event study; Subtractionality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q58 Q53 D12 H23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069618305291
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:93:y:2019:i:c:p:254-271

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

More articles in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-05-18
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:93:y:2019:i:c:p:254-271