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Concerns over plastic waste set to beat price as primary concern for consumer

Jonny Clark

10th September 2018

As this may well be the second or third week of teaching your new Economic students this term, you might well be at the stage of discussing demand, supply and price determination. Here's an interesting article from the Guardian which details a report about consumer concern over plastic waste.

The report shows that UK society is becoming increasingly concerned over the plastic waste that finds its way to the oceans and the long-term knock-on effects of an over-use of plastic packaging. The suggestion is, that over the next decade consumers will be more prepared to pay a higher price for their goods if that reduces the external cost of waste disposal.

What may be interesting here for your students is for them to draw the diagram to illustrate this change in price. There may be a short-term shift in the supply curve to reflect an increase in cost of production. There may also be a short-term shift in demand for products that openly use more environmentally sound packaging which counter-acts the increase in cost.

Jonny Clark

Jon Clark has been teaching economics and business studies for over 25 years primarily in the Further Education sector. Before joining tutor2u, he was a senior manager at South Cheshire College in Crewe.

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