A Simple Practice, Skip the Plastic

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Research-based solutions for overcoming barriers to reusable bag usage.

School:

UBC

Department:

Land and Food Systems

Course:

LFS 350

Instructors:

  • Will Valley

City of Vancouver:

  • Paul Gagnon
  • Julie LeBlanc

Student Team:

  • Ally Baaske
  • Melody Wang
  • Gabriella Sunario
  • Timmy Wu
  • Herman Chu
  • Zhenzi (Aurora) Yang

Strategy:

  • Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP)

City goal area:

  • Zero Waste

Term:

Fall Semester 2019

Summary

This project aims to increase community food sustainability in the Yaletown-Roundhouse neighbourhood by proposing a creative slogan and approaches to encourage behavioural change towards more reusable bag use. The slogan our team proposed, ‘A Simple Practice, Skip the Plastic,’ was developed with the community centre’s demographic in mind. 

 

Our research also revealed effective behaviour change approaches such as education, financial incentives, policies, consumer convenience, slogans and media, and establishing social norms. 

We conducted a literature review and observational visits of the Roundhouse Community Centre to help inform the City of Vancouver on some of the barriers surrounding reusable bag use and provide suggestions on how these barriers might be overcome. Additionally, this project investigated characteristics of slogans that are effective at inciting behaviour change around: (i) forgetting to bring a reusable bag, (ii) a lack of understanding of the impacts of reusable bag use, (iii) easy access to plastic bags, and (iv) a lack of concern or social pressure were some main barriers to reusable bag use. With a synthesized consideration of both the Roundhouse demographics and the present literature, we found the six areas for intervention that the City might target to overcome these barriers.

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