Small Charges Lead To Big Results

"When it goes from zero to even a very small charge, it can feel very bad," said Dan Ariely, an economics professor at Duke University. "It creates a very small financial burden but a very big emotional reaction."


That quote from an interesting article in The New Republic that talks about the success of the Washington, DC plastic bag tax. On 1/1, stores began charging shoppers a tax of a nickle per plastic bag and bag use has gone down 50%. The article then makes the connection to a carbon tax and how even a tiny fee is better than no fee because of reason Ariely states above.

The article also mentions a failed $0.20 bag tax in Seattle that potentially reached too high. Nickle bag tax for everyone!

One thought on “Small Charges Lead To Big Results

  1. Ethan

    I imagine if the cost were shifted to a non-coin interval that bag use would drop even more. People hate carrying change. Going to six cents from five would increase the number of coins in the buyers pocket and isn’t (as) easily computed for most people, thus more bag reduction!

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