Economic valuation of benefits from the proposed REACH restriction of intentionally added microplastics.

Peter King, Alistair Hunt, Stavros Georgiou, Caroline Rainsford, Richard Dean

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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This study elicited the willingness to pay (WTP) for measures to control the release of intentionally added microplastics. Although microplastics accumulate in the marine environment and are practically unrecoverable, there is considerable scientific uncertainty about their environmental and health effects. This study used both a Choice Experiment (CE) and Contingent Valuation (CV) to evaluate where it was more beneficial to target restrictions at source or emissions. The CE investigated source-control in evaluating how respondents accept a trade-off between the price and performance of cosmetic products when reformulated to reduce the use of microplastics. Two CV tasks then estimated the benefits of research to resolve the uncertainty, and the benefits of upgrading Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) to retain more microplastics. The difference in the annual CV WTP; £53.24 for research and £73.71 respectively, suggests that respondents are willing to pay a substantial premium for the precautionary abatement of microplastics.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBath, UK
PublisherDepartment of Economics, University of Bath
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameBath Economics Research Papers
PublisherUniversity of Bath


  • Uncertainty
  • Marine litter
  • Micro pollutants
  • Cost-benefit Analysis
  • Stated preference


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