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Abstract

Using observational data on consumer carryout bag usage, we measure the effects of Disposable Bag Policies on bag demand. Our results show that plastic bag bans with paper bag fees eliminate use of disposable plastic bags and increase use of reusable bags. However, we find significant and undesired increases in paper bag demand. We compare our results to a study on bag fees and conclude the types of bags stores choose to sell in lieu of disposable plastic bags, as well as the price of alternatives, impact whether bans are more successful than fees in discouraging disposable bag demand.

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