Responding to the Plastic Crisis: Local Government Plastic Bans and Consumer Behavior Towards Single Use Plastic Bags in Tarlac, Philippines

  • Julia Crowley University of Missouri–Kansas City


The Philippine province of Tarlac adopted a provincial plastic ban in 2020. However, the ban has not been uniformly enforced throughout its 17 municipalities and one city. The purpose of this research is to examine the intersection between local plastic ban enforcement and individual choices pertaining to single-use plastic bag consumption and the use of reusable shopping bags, to better understand the factors that motivate individuals and communities to reduce their single-use plastic consumption. Residents throughout Tarlac were surveyed to better understand what predicts their weekly plastic bag consumption and frequent use of reusable shopping bags. Results suggested that an individual's willingness to pay for a reusable shopping bag predicted weekly plastic bag consumption, and knowledge of where to obtain a reusable shopping bag and plastic ban implementation predicted frequent use of reusable shopping bags. However, the presence of business plastic charges and level of education were not predictors in both models. 

Author Biography

Julia Crowley, University of Missouri–Kansas City

Julia Crowley is an assistant professor of urban planning and design at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her research interests include disaster debris management planning, plastic waste management, social vulnerability and disasters, risk perception, and environmental justice. Dr. Crowley served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ilocos Norte, Philippines from 2009-2012. During this time, she taught at Sarrat National High School and developed a plastic reduction project for the Municipality of Sarrat.

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