Roger Spranz, Achim Schlüter, Björn Vollan,
Morals, money or the master: The adoption of eco-friendly reusable bags
Marine Policy, 2018, ISSN 0308-597X,
Plastic pollution is rampant in oceans across the globe. Our project in Indonesia seeks to understand and measure the effectiveness
of non-monetary interventions that can help to reduce plastic bag consumption. A natural field experiment with 60 local shops was set up
and three different persuasion strategies to measure shop owners’ likelihood to participate and sell them to customers were applied.
Inall treatment conditions the reusable bags were offered to the shop owners at a subsidized price along with explanations about the harm
plastic bags do to the environment. Additionally and according to their randomly assigned treatment, they got either information activating a
pro-environmental social norm (arguing that distributing the reusable bags helps support the wellbeing of their society);
Indirect monetaryincentive (arguing that their business can save money by reducing the amount of free plastic bags) or;
authority endorsements (the head of the village showing his support of the idea to distribute the reusable bags).
Our results support the conjecture that local leaders play an important role in the Indonesian context.