Ohtomo, S. (大友章司) & Ohnuma, S. (大沼進) (2014). Psychological intervention to reduce resource consumption: reducing plastic bag usage at supermarkets. Resources Conservation & Recycling, 84, 57-65. doi: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2013.12.014
A field study was conducted to investigate the reduction of plastic bag usage at supermarkets. Many behaviors leading to potential damage to the environment may be unintentional. This study applied a dual motivation model to plastic bag usage and examined the effects of an intervention aimed at promoting pro-environmental behavior. A voice prompt intervention was implemented in Japanese supermarkets. In the first (control) week, shoppers were given free plastic bags by the cashier. In the second (intervention) week, cashiers asked shoppers whether they wanted plastic bags. We collected observational and questionnaire measures of variables that predicted free plastic bag usage during the intervention. The results supported a dual motivation model of behavioral change. The voice prompt decreased the usage of plastic bags by both discouraging unintentional usage and encouraging an intentional reduction in usage. Possibilities for interventions designed both to attenuate unintentional motivation and to promote intentional motivation are considered.