Households’ responsiveness to government ban on polythene carrier bags in Uganda
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Polythene carrier bags have become common in Uganda largely due to their desirable properties that are considered convenient by consumers. They have, however, turned out to be a big nuisance and threatening the environment due to their non-biodegradable nature amidst improper disposal systems. The government of Uganda thus banned the use of the bags in July 2007. A study was conducted to determine households’ willingness to pay for alternative carrier materials, and to determine factors that affect household’s willingness to pay for such alternatives. The study sample included households in urban and peri-urban areas from whom information was collected using a pre-tested questionnaire. It was noticed that a large proportion of the respondents were aware of the ban and had positive attitudes towards the ban. Majority of the respondents expressed the need and willingness to stop using polythene bags in favour of alternative materials (durable woven baskets, cloth bags, paper bags and local kikapu bags). Factors explaining household willingness to pay for alternative materials included existence of awareness campaigns, availability of garbage collection services, sex of household head and ownership of occupied residence.