Personal, Social, and Environmental Factors Associated with the Behavior of Plastic Bag Use among Urban Residents: A Study with Socioecological Approach

Fatemeh Bakhtari Aghdam, Ziba Delangiz Alamdari, Haidar Nadrian, Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi, Reza Dehghanzadeh


Background: Disposal and release of plastic bags in the environment can cause environmental, economic, and social problems. The aim of this study was to explore the determinants of the behavior of plastic bag use (BPBU) among residents using socioecological approach (SEA).

Methods: In this cross‑sectional study, multistage random sampling was employed to enroll 400 residents in Hadishahr County, North West of Iran. A valid and reliable instrument based on SEA variables was used.

Results: Hierarchical multiple linear regressions were performed with SEA and BPBU as outcome variables. Predictors of outcome variables were classified into four different blocks. Demographic characteristics and SEA constructs explained 50% of the observed variance in BPBU. In the first block, age (P = 0.03) and purchase frequency (P = 0.902) were significant predictors of BPBU (R2 = 0.34), and in the third block, access to alternatives in environment (P = 0.01) was
significant predictor for BPBU (R2 = 0.49). The majority of residents (47%) were taking home 6 to 10 plastic bags and more than 10 freezer bags after their shopping per week.

Conclusions: Health‑care providers may consider purchase frequency and SEA as a framework for developing educational, environmental, and social interventions aiming at reducing the consumption of plastic bags.

Keywords: Environmental factor, personal factor, plastic bag, social support

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