Community’s perception of utilization and disposal of plastic bags in Eastern Ethiopia

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Head, Environmental Health Science Department, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia

2 Hygiene and Environmental Health Expert at Food, Medicine and Health Administration Control Authority, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Plastics, one of the most abundant materials in the world today, are one of the main sources of pollution. People’s perception of using and disposing plastic bags is primordial as they tend to be a major part of household solid waste. This study aims to determine community’s perception of usage and disposal of plastic bags in Eastern Ethiopia. A quantitative cross-sectional study has been conducted in Harar city of Eastern Ethiopia, using a multi-stage statistical sampling technique. The data concerning all variables have been collected via pretested questionnaire and observational checklist with a response rate of 91% which has then been into SPSS and analyzed by STATA 11.0. About 51% open dump their plastic bag wastes. It has been shown that the majority (88.7%) of the responders perceived plastic bags as having environmental impacts, with 82.8% feeling a growth in their plastic bags utilization and about 54% thinking that plastic bags should be banned. It has also been illustrated that perception of plastic bags' environmental impacts and the willingness to pay for solid waste collection service has an association with plastic bag utilization. This study has found that utilization and open dumping of plastic bags rests at a significantly higher level. Community’s perceptions regarding environmental impacts of plastic bags have been at a higher level, which still requires consideration. A considerably high number of residents believe that utilization of plastic bag should be continued; therefore, a great emphasis should be given to bringing the desired attitudinal change.


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