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Bans vs. Fees: Disposable Carryout Bag Policies and Bag Usage

Rebecca Taylor () and Sofia Villas-Boas ()

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2016, vol. 38, issue 2, 351-372

Abstract: Using observational data on consumer carryout bag usage, we measure the effects of disposable bag policies on disposable and reusable bag demand. Our results show that plastic bag bans coupled with paper bag fees decrease total disposable bag demand but lead to significant increases in paper bag consumption. We compare our results to a study on bag fees and find that both policies lead to similar increases in reusable bag usage. However, the success of bans versus fees in discouraging disposable bag usage is contingent upon the types and prices of bags that stores choose to sell in lieu of disposable plastic.

Date: 2016
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Working Paper: Bans vs. Fees: Disposable Carryout Bag Policies and Bag Usage (2015) Downloads
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Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy is currently edited by Timothy Park, Tomislav Vukina and Ian Sheldon

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