Harnessing Behavioral Science to Design Disposable Bag Regulations

Tatiana Homonoff, Rebecca Taylor, Lee-Sien Kao, and Doug Palmer
Behavioral Science and Policy, Behavioral Science and Policy. (2021) 7(2): 51–61.

Policies to curb the use of disposable shopping bags take two main forms: (a) They provide market-based incentives, imposing fees or taxes on disposable shopping bags or offering rewards for bringing reusable bags from home, or (b) they impose command-and-control policies, which ban certain types of disposable shopping bags altogether. In this article, we review evidence on the effectiveness of these policy design choices through a behavioral economics lens and highlight best practices for policymakers considering similar legislation.

Wagner Faculty