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Plastic Bag Ban in Nepal: Enforcement and Effectiveness

Bishal Bharadwaj

No 108, Working papers from The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics

Abstract: The rampant use of plastic bags in Nepal has led to growing concern in recent years regarding the impact of discarded plastic bags on the environment. Though a number of different control measures are being implemented to curb the release of this type of waste into the environment, policy makers are uncertain about their effectiveness. From 2010, some Nepalese municipalities have banned plastic bags but the effectiveness of this ban is not even. We investigate how the different levels of subjective expectation of fine of the bans affect plasticbag use. Survey information on retailers and consumers from 14 municipalities in Nepal show that the partial ban does not help to reduce plastic bags use, a finding that highlights the ineffectiveness of the National Plastic Bag Reduction and Regulation Directives 2011 that aim to enforce a selective ban on black plastic bags less than 20 microns thick. Our resultsindicate that a strict enforcement, subjective expectation of fine,of a complete ban on plastic bag use will reduce the number of plastic bags used by consumers by around 95% and the weight of plastic bags used by retailers by almost 100% as compared to a poorly enforced complete ban, a partial ban, or no ban. Ensuring the highest level of subjective expectation of fine in the 191 municipalities of Nepal will help stop 1250 million single-use plastic bags from entering the environment every year.

Keywords: Plastic bag ban; enforcement; effectiveness; municipalities of Nepal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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