Consumer-Perception on Polyethylene-Shopping-Bags

Diana Starovoytova Madara, Saul Sitati Namango, Charles Wetaka


This-study is a part of a larger-research on potential-environment-friendly-alternatives to polyethylene shopping-bags. At a general-level, the whole-research can be regarded as an explanatory-case-study of social-perception on plastic-menace-problem in Rift Valley Province, Kenya. The-survey was mainly aimed at understanding consumers’ perceptions on plastic-bags, through consumption-habits, the degree of awareness of environmental-impacts and the willingness to reduce their-consumption. In order to most-accurately reflect the social-perceptions of the Kenyan-population, regarding single-use-plastic-bags consumption, a questionnaire was selected as the most-suitable-method, which was pre-tested to ensure its validity and reliability. A cross-stratification-technique was used, to determine the subject-sample-size of 384 respondents from three-towns, in total. Discrete-Choice-Experiment-technique, which originated from mathematical-psychology for investigating individual-preferences, was employed. The data-analysis was conducted using Epi-Info 7 (version 3.5.1), Minitab, and, Microsoft Excel, software. The Statistical-Package for Social-Sciences (SPPS-17, version 22)-computer software-program was used to compute the Cronbach’s alpha co-efficient. To check, whether there is an association between the variables, cross-tabulations was performed, while Chi-squared-test was used to test significance of the relationships. Cronbach's-alpha-test of internal-consistency was performed and demonstrated high inter-item-consistency (Cronbach's a > 0.9). The survey-results indicated that regardless of sex, educational-level, age-group and occupation, majority (80%) of the towns’-populace widely-used plastic-bags on a daily-basis in their-life-activities. Cheapness or free-distribution of these-bags, by retailers or supermarket-owners, are believed to be the main-reasons for the widespread-usage of polyethylene-single-use-shopping-bags, and, for the associated with their-disposal, problems. To combat these-problems, plastic Waste Management initiatives were highlighted, in conjunction with relevant-recommendations. The findings and recommendations of this-study will, expectantly, contribute (in its small-way) resolving the environmental- problems, associated with plastic-bags and their-disposal. This-research may also be valuable for Government-authorities, non-profit organizations, private-bodies or individuals, in order to develop adequate-and tailored-strategies and take actions, according to the actual-consumer-attitudes and perceptions.

Keywords: polyethylene, shopping, bags, perception. 

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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