College Students' Perceptions and Attitudes Toward the Use of Plastic Bags in Turkey and Puerto Rico

Creative Commons License

Kanat G., Vardar N.

EurAsia Waste Management Symposium, İstanbul, Turkey, 26 - 28 October 2020, pp.41-45

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.41-45
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Plastic is a man-made material and the most ubiquitous consumer item in the world mainly because of their convenience. Since 1980s, single-use plastic bags have replaced paper and reusable bags because they are stronger, cheaper, and more convenient to use. Customers at grocery and department stores all around the world have used single-use plastic bags to transport goods and food items to their homes. However, plastic bags pose serious environmental and health problems in humans and animal. Therefore, a growing number of states and governments are taking action to ban single use plastics all around the world. Recently, some plastic bag bans are being reversed for a certain period in several US states because of the coronavirus pandemic. In this study, a questionnaire was used to assess the perceptions and behaviors of college students in two countries (Turkey and Puerto Rico) regarding use of single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and supermarkets. Each of the four-year college student populations was contacted with a web link to complete the survey. Survey results showed that policies to reduce single-use plastics have been effective in both countries. More than 85 percent of the participant indicated that since the ban of plastic bags they have been using reusable bags at the stores to carry their items. Ninety five percent of them pointed out that they are aware of the damage created using plastics bags and they think paper bags are more sustainable than plastic bags.