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Plastic has become essential to everyday use as the material is very costeffective and therefore used to create various single-use products. According to the Ocean Conservancy, the amount of ocean plastic in weight will outweigh fish by 2050. Concerns about plastic pollution have provided an incentive for people to buy reusable products, which has been encouraged by legislation banning certain single-use products from being freely distributed. Data indicates that massive quantities of singleuse plastic are simultaneously being produced and thrown away daily; however, there is little data that indicates whether reusable efforts have made a difference in slowing this process. Thus, the purpose of this study is to better understand: 1) whether people have measurably made a switch from using single-use items to reusable items; 2) whether levels of plastic pollution have changed following the implementation of plastic bans; and 3) whether knowledge about single-use products varies by a person’s geographic location, income, education, or other demographic factors. Methods will include conducting surveys with individuals in both inland and coastal communities in Los Angeles, California, as well as analyzing data from beach cleanups from local organizations. We anticipate the findings will help show whether these reusable measures are effective, and if so, whether that is consistent across locations and populations. This can provide useful information to municipalities and other local organizations working to reduce plastic pollution.

Publication Date

2018

Plastic Perception: An Analysis on Single-Use Consumerism

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