Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Effectiveness of intervention on behaviour change against use of non-biodegradable plastic bags: a systematic review.

Adeyanju, Gbadebo Collins; Augustine, Teslin Maria; Volkmann, Stefan; Oyebamiji, Usman Adetunji; Ran, Sonia; Osobajo, Oluyomi A.; Otitoju, Afolabi


Gbadebo Collins Adeyanju

Teslin Maria Augustine

Stefan Volkmann

Usman Adetunji Oyebamiji

Sonia Ran

Afolabi Otitoju


The devastating impacts that bio-degradable products such as plastic bags are having on human health, wildlife, and the environment is enormous, especially single-use once. Single-use plastics are non-biodegradable products and does not undergo biological decomposition nor degenerate. This review examines various government regulations targeted at changing behaviour against plastic bags consumption and their effectiveness. Following a rigorous search in 13 databases, including PubMed, Science Direct, Springer Nature, etc. only 17 peer-reviewed journal articles that are published between 2000 and 2019 and met the inclusion criteria were included in the study. Each study’s methodological quality was assessed using the GRADE system, and data were extracted using a uniquely designed form. The results revealed that regulations based solely on the thickness of plastic bags does not reduce plastic bags consumption. However, regulations focused on banning ‘single-use’ plastic bag usage, imposing higher taxes and levies on consumers, significantly reduce plastic bags consumption. Overall, the latter is considered the most effective. Also, the results show that attitude, perception and behaviour change toward bio-degradable products or climate-friendly behaviour can be significantly influenced by public policy or regulations. Although the behaviour seems short-lived in some countries, therefore further studies need to probe on why. Also, the absence of a national regulatory strategy in North America reduced the inclusion of studies from the region, hence need for more research focusing on sub-national regulations.


ADEYANJU, G.C., AUGUSTINE, T.M., VOLKMANN, S., OYEBAMIJI, U.A., RAN, S., OSOBAJO, O.A. and OTITOJU, A. 2021. Effectiveness of intervention on behaviour change against use of non-biodegradable plastic bags: a systematic review. Discover sustainability [online], 2(1), article 13. Available from:

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Feb 5, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 9, 2021
Publication Date 2021-12
Deposit Date Mar 12, 2021
Publicly Available Date Mar 12, 2021
Journal Discover sustainability
Electronic ISSN 2662-9984
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Article Number 13
Keywords Plastic bags; Effectiveness; Intervention; Biodegradable products; Government regulations; Public policy; Behaviour change; Consumption
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations