Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Nudging in Supermarkets to Reduce Plastic Bag Consumption Among Customers

Version 1 : Received: 6 May 2020 / Approved: 7 May 2020 / Online: 7 May 2020 (14:57:26 CEST)

How to cite: Lim, I. Nudging in Supermarkets to Reduce Plastic Bag Consumption Among Customers. Preprints 2020, 2020050128 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0128.v1). Lim, I. Nudging in Supermarkets to Reduce Plastic Bag Consumption Among Customers. Preprints 2020, 2020050128 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0128.v1).

Abstract

Plastic bag bans aimed at alleviating marine plastic pollution have resulted in dire, unintended consequences, indicating a shift in general behaviour, that further feeds into major international environmental catastrophes. However, nudge theory is a potential solution that has been shown to play a subtle but important role in providing options under circumstances where complex information needs to be streamlined for the wider community. It is therefore timely to look into the insights of nudge theory to encourage a positive behavioural change to reduce plastic bag consumption. Here we apply a systematic literature review to show how successful applications of nudges in supermarkets can be leveraged to reduce plastic bag consumption. We find that the current applications of nudges in various industries worldwide, including supermarkets have produced positive and encouraging results, as well as producing lasting behavioural change among the wider community. Supermarkets are identified as a powerful deployment site of these nudges due to their positioning as a dominant provider of plastic bags to the wider community, as well as being the largest and leading provider of daily food needs. Finally, we synthesise our findings to produce a coherent and testable framework of actionable interventions that supermarkets can employ to nudge customers towards reduced plastic bag reliance, accompanied with a visualised timeline of a customer shopping in a supermarket experiencing these nudges.

Subject Areas

nudge; behavioural science; supermarket; customer experience; plastic bag ban; plastic waste

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