Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Public Perceptions of Legislative Action on Reducing Plastic Pollution: A Case Study of Atlantic Canada

Version 1 : Received: 31 December 2021 / Approved: 13 January 2022 / Online: 13 January 2022 (13:58:00 CET)

How to cite: Molloy, S.; Medeiros, A.; Walker, T.; Saunders, S. Public Perceptions of Legislative Action on Reducing Plastic Pollution: A Case Study of Atlantic Canada. Preprints 2022, 2022010192 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0192.v1). Molloy, S.; Medeiros, A.; Walker, T.; Saunders, S. Public Perceptions of Legislative Action on Reducing Plastic Pollution: A Case Study of Atlantic Canada. Preprints 2022, 2022010192 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0192.v1).

Abstract

Government-led legislation is a key strategy to reduce plastic pollution; however, societal perception can heavily influence government intervention for environmental issues. To understand the public acceptability of government action to reduce plastic pollution, we examine the perception of existing and upcoming legislative action on single-use plastics by means of a structured survey with additional semi-structured interviews. Our focus is on the four Atlantic provinces of Canada, which was the first region in Canada to implement provincial-wide legislation for plastic reduction at the consumer level in 2019. Results show strong public support (77 %, n = 838) for bans on single-use plastic bags at the consumer level, and for further plastic pollution reduction legislation. However, the level of support differed between regions and by demographics. Semi-structured interviews show that decision-makers should increase efforts in raising consumer awareness and standardizing regulations across jurisdictions for smoother transitions prior to legislative action.

Keywords

Single-use plastics (SUPs); plastic pollution management; policy; pollution; Atlantic Canada

Subject

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, Social Psychology

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