Consumer Response Will Make or Break California Plastic Bag Ban, Expert Says

California Gov. Jerry Brown has said he will approve a ban on single-use plastic bags

California Gov. Jerry Brown has said he will approve a ban on single-use plastic bags, making California the first state to outlaw them.•    Quotes: “If signed, this legislation’s effectiveness will depend on whether consumers switch to multiple-use or reusable bags as their new norm, or merely purchase and use the 10-cent paper or 'reusable' plastic bags only once before disposal,” says Duke University environmental policy expert Elizabeth A. Albright. “If this happens, will we see a rise in the number and use of plastic waste bags that can now be purchased at the grocery store?" "As in analyzing any environmental policy that directly affects human behavior, the potential for unintended consequences of the policy should be examined." "It will be very interesting to follow other states' response to this legislation, to see which states will follow suit in adopting similar policies." •    Bio: Elizabeth A. Albright is an assistant professor of the practice of environmental science and policy methods at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Her research and teaching focuses on how policies and decisions are made in response to extreme environmental and climatic events. http://nicholas.duke.edu/people/faculty/albright    For additional comment, contact Albright at: Elizabeth.albright@duke.edu                             -   -   -   -   -Duke experts on a variety of other topics can be found at http://newsoffice.duke.edu/resources-media/faculty-experts.