Management Slant

  • The law helped motivate shoppers to bring reusable bags, but about half the sample continued to buy plastic bags after the bag law was enforced.
  • Significant gender differences existed only in the high-guilt condition, in which women had more favorable attitudes than men; among women, attitudes were significantly more favorable in the high-guilt condition than in the low-guilt condition.
  • Although women are more eco-conscious than men, their proenvironment behavior stems primarily from egoistic concerns, such as saving money, rather than biospheric concerns, such as the health of the planet.
  • The findings suggest that green guilt does affect men and women differently.

Introduction

On October 5, 2015, England implemented a carry-bag ordinance that required large retailers to charge 5 pence (approximately $0.07) for plastic bags to encourage consumers to carry reusable bags. The proceeds were to be donated to social causes that retailers support.1 A 2015 study found that the average U.K. household had 40 plastic bags that could be reused and that the number of plastic bags had increased every year since 2009.2