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T863 Environmental decision making A systems approach Project Report

Name: Title of project: Date: Word count:

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux A critical review of the ban approach to plastic bags in Switzerland 12 April 2011 4172

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux Table of content Summary ................................................................................................................................................. 3 Introduction............................................................................................................................................. 3 Investigating the situation using T863 framework.................................................................................. 5 Method ................................................................................................................................................ 5 Exploring the situation ........................................................................................................................ 6 Multiple perspectives in Switzerland .............................................................................................. 6 Worldwide perspectives .................................................................................................................. 8 An insightful picture ........................................................................................................................ 9 Formulating problems, opportunities and systems of interest ........................................................ 10 Root causes ................................................................................................................................... 10 Ranking problems and opportunities ............................................................................................ 11 Interconnections and uncertainties .............................................................................................. 13 My system of interest.................................................................................................................... 13 Identifying feasible and desirable changes ....................................................................................... 15 Legislation and schemes................................................................................................................ 15 Evaluating options ......................................................................................................................... 16 Taking action ..................................................................................................................................... 17 Unintended consequences ............................................................................................................ 17 Concerted action ........................................................................................................................... 18 Recommendation .......................................................................................................................... 18 Critical Appraisal .................................................................................................................................... 19 Developing practice ........................................................................................................................... 19 Developing a broader understanding................................................................................................ 19 Recommending practice.................................................................................................................... 20 Conclusions............................................................................................................................................ 21 References ............................................................................................................................................. 21 Appendix................................................................................................................................................ 24

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux

Summary
This project uses T863 framework to critically review a ban approach to plastic bags in Switzerland. It uses 4 diagramming techniques (spray diagram, systems map, rich picture, multiple-cause diagram), and 3 other techniques (stakeholder analysis, root definition and interest-based negotiation) from T863 module. It also considered 8 concepts from T863 module especially relevant metaphors, uncertainties, interconnections, legislation and schemes, measures of performance, unintended consequences and concerted action. The report issues recommendations about the situation by putting forward a mix of measures including regulation, education, monitoring and safeguards. It also shows how the author reviewed her initial position, thus valuing the potential of T863 framework to develop a broader understanding. In the light of the project, this report concludes that the framework is appropriate for use in further environmental decision making situations.

Introduction
This project considers the following environmental decision-making (EDM) situation: Swiss parliamentary motion 10.3850 demands ban on plastic bags, because they produce unnecessary waste and pollute (Swiss Parliament, 2010). Currently, despite some local successes, Swiss consumers and businesses still extensively rely on free single-use plastic bags.

The aims of this project are two-fold. First, it considers, with the help of T863 framework (reproduced below), what steps the decision process should undergo to properly address the issues raised by plastic bags in Switzerland. It investigates the following set of decisions: 1) Is banning the appropriate solution to reduce the use of plastic bags in Switzerland? 2) If no, how could the current situation be improved? 3) How should potential unintended consequences be prevented?

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux

Figure 1: T863 framework Source: (T863, Book1, p.84)

Second, it reflects on the author's learning process by using T863 framework. This EDM situation was chosen for two main reasons. First, plastic bags are an environmental issue that has attracted significant attention in the last decade worldwide. Second, since 2008, several attempts to reduce the use of plastic bags have been made within Switzerland's three layer federal system, but only one has succeeded yet (see figure below).

Figure 2: Levels of decision-making in the Swiss plastic bag situation Sources: (Swiss Parliament, 2010 and 2008), (City of Geneva, 2010), (Jura Parliament, 2008 and 2010)

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux I have a stake in this matter as a responsible Swiss consumer who tries to use reusable rather than single-use bags. My perspective is that the use of plastic bags should be drastically reduced. They are not essential, but lay stress on petrol, and contribute to local and global environmental damages to soil, water and wildlife.

Investigating the situation using T863 framework

Method
As I currently live in New York, I relied a lot on Internet for my investigation, browsing Swiss and international newspapers and reports concerned with plastic bag issues. To explore multiple perspectives, I reviewed the retail leaders' online corporate communication. I also analysed comments to online article by Jan-Hess (2009), where consumers reacted to the suppression by Migros of plastic bags in the Canton of Geneva (see Appendix). While considering options, I looked for existing legislation and reviewed literature on LCA. I used a spray diagram (T863, Techniques, pp.32-33) to store facts about my situation (Figure 3). It enabled me to easily add new facts as I progressed in my readings. It proved also helpful to remember relevant facts at various stages of my investigation.

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux

Figure 3: A spray diagram to store relevant facts about my EDM-situation Sources: (Swiss Parliament, 2010), (BBC, 2002, 2008 and 2010), (environ.ie, 2007), (OFEV, 2009a and 2009b), (Yon, 2010), (Tschudin, 2011), (Ducomm, 2008).

Exploring the situation


I explored my EDM situation with the help of a stakeholder analysis (T863, Book 2, pp.224-225) and a rich picture (T863, Techniques, pp.28-30). Multiple perspectives in Switzerland I used a systems map (T863, Techniques, pp.36-38) to conduct my stakeholder analysis (Figure 4).

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux

Figure 4: A systems map used as a stakeholder analysis

The stakeholders involved in the actual decision-making process are the Parliament (the decisionmaker, which includes some signatories of motion 10.3850), the Federal Council and the CI CDS lobby, representing the interests of 6 retail businesses (including Migros and Coop) before the parliament. They all have the power to directly influence the decision. "Primary stakeholders" are directly impacted by the decision outcome, but their influence is indirect. They include retail, consumers, waste industries and communes. Each segment of the "retail sector" has specific constraints or interests. For instance, fisheries have hygienic constraints that are met today by plastic bags among other packaging solutions. The leaders, Migros and Coop, are ready to invest on information and education to diminish the use of plastic bags to the extent that some of their customers are sensitive to environmental issues. They however insist on maintaining their liberty of means, in order to accommodate heterogeneous consumer perspectives and increase rather than loose market shares (CI CDS, 2009). 7

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux Consumers can roughly be separated in two groups. "Responsible" consumers, to which I belong, are environmentally sensitive, and try to avoid plastic bags by using reusable bags instead. Other consumers appreciate plastic bags for their convenience and because they are free. "Waste industries" and "communes" are the ultimate end users of plastic bags. If plastic bags are disposed of properly, they end up in waste-to-energy plants and contribute to produce heat and electricity1. If instead they end up as littering, they induce additional cleaning costs for communes. The sub-system "other stakeholders" includes groups, whose stake is unclear or whose influencing capacity is opaque to me. For instance, environmental NGOs could have a say in the matter, but they do not express concern for the plastic bag situation in Switzerland2. Similarly, power relationship between state departments representing economic interests (SECO) and those representing environmental interests (FOEN) might affect the outcome, but their influence is unclear to me. Systems map is a useful tool to help identify key stakeholders and describe stakes, but it conceals the fact that a a stakeholder might have multiple and conflicting stakes and that stakes are dynamic. They can change with changing surrounding conditions. Worldwide perspectives Worldwide perspectives on plastic bags are worth considering, because they contextualise the Swiss case. For instance, Bangladesh where plastic bags blocked drains and increased catastrophic flooding can be considered a victim of plastic bags (BBC, 2008). On the opposite, plastic bag industries and their employees, probably located in foreign countries, are potential victims of a plastic bag ban. Finally, actions taken in other countries will also be worth considering at the take action stage of T863 framework.

It should be noted that there is no more landfill in Switzerland since 2000 (FOEN, 2009a) WWF Canada takes position against plastic bags (undated). There is no such manifesto on Swiss environmental NGOs' websites.
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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux An insightful picture I used a rich picture to explore how problems are perceived in my EDM situation. Figure 5 shows that, in my view, stakeholders often have a partial perception of problems. For instance, stakeholders with economic interests (e.g. retail, SECO) would tend to focus on problems quantifiable in monetary terms (e.g. littering). On the opposite, I pictured myself trying to adopt a balanced view (yin-yang symbol) while expressing my initial doubts about a tax option. Interestingly, the rich picture reveals my own bias too. Indeed, it made me realise that I paid more attention to intergenerational solidarity (baby image at the bottom left) than to intra-generational solidarity (image at the top with bubble "jobs").

Figure 5: A rich picture to gain insights into my EDM-situation

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux

Formulating problems, opportunities and systems of interest


At this stage, I experienced how diagram techniques, systems thinking and concepts such as metaphors (T863, Book 2, pp.47-48), interconnections (T863, Book 2, p.9) and uncertainty (T863, Book 3, pp.93-96) could help to formulate problems without minimising the complexities of my situation. Root causes Before categorising problems, I wondered what caused or prevented the use of plastic bags in the first place. As supermarkets are probably the main suppliers of plastic bags in volume, I used a multiple-cause diagram (T863, Techniques, pp.26-28) to investigate what causes or prevent the use of plastic bags at Migros or Coop checkout (Figure 6).

Figure 6: A multiple cause diagram used to investigate root causes

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux As some root causes appeared only during my diagram process (e.g. "eating on-the-go"), this technique helped me gain new insights and recognise the importance of lifestyles (eating on-the-go, spontaneous shopping) and related mental models (single-use philosophy, throw-away mindset) in my EDM situation. However, in my opinion, this technique failed to reveal unconscious dynamics at play. In this sense, the analysis of metaphors proved complementary. Two metaphors are particularly insightful. First, plastic bags are both seen as useful (e.g. for unplanned shopping) and useless (i.e. we easily throw them away). This metaphor discloses our own ambivalent attitude. Second, many consumers consider plastic bags as a free service (see Appendix). But plastic bags bear a cost for retail businesses, and hence necessarily have an impact on the price of sold goods3. This metaphor could thus be challenged by that of an indiscriminated tax, which consumers pay regardless of their effective consumption of plastic bags. Ranking problems and opportunities My rich picture illustrated that different people perceived different problems in the same EDM situation. I wondered whether using scales based on the Earth system (T863, Book 3, p.27) would help to rank these problems. I eventually ranked them with the help of earth system and temporal scales (see Table 1).

Migros acknowledges to have saved 500'000 CHF and 35 millions plastic bags per year in its Geneva pilot project (Jan-Hess, 2009). As I asked about it, Coop answered that costs are not passed on to consumers (Rttimann, 2011)

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux Ranking problems


Problems
(1)

Earth System scale Biophysical Biophysical Biophysical, Economic Biophysical Societal Societal, Economic Societal

Temporal scale Long-term Long-term Long-term Long-term Long-term Short-term Short-term

Assumptions Plastic bags are carried away by wind. They take centuries to degrade and release toxic chemicals. Plastic bags fragment easily into small pieces. They are mistaken for food by some animals. Plastic bags are based on oil or gas. These are finite resources for which demand is high today. Dioxin is released during the process of incineration. This fact is uncertain. Humans are at the end of the food chain. They may eat fish that has ingested plastic bag pieces. The long-term effect is unknown. Littering constitutes visual pollution and induces additional costs for communes. When plastic bags are free, they encourage throw-away mindset.

Soil and water pollution Hazard to wildlife Stress on resources Atmospheric pollution Health hazard Littering Throw-away mindset

(2) (3) (4)

(5)

(6) (7)

Table 1: Problems ranked from most important to less important

In my view, biophysical long-term problems need to be given priority, so I expected that this exercise would help me formulate problems. But I realised that it is not that simple, because most problems are closely interconnected; for instance, hazard to wildlife follows from soil and water pollution, which follow from littering, which is part of a throw-away society. Weighing problems with opportunities (see table below), I concluded at this stage that that plastic bags are not essential, but lay stress on petrol, and contribute to local and global environmental damages to soil, water and wildlife. This shows that problems formulation is linked with values. Ranking Opportunities
Opportunities
(1) (2) (3) (4)

Need for less packaging Source of energy Second life Spontaneous shopping facilitator

Earth System scale Economic and biophysical Societal Societal Economic and societal

Temporal scale Short-term, long-term Short-term Short-term Short-term

Assumptions Plastic bags are used for meat, fish, fruits and vegetables in place of packaging. Plastic releases heat when incinerated. Plastic bags can be used as bin bags, for storage or bags for pet waste pickup. When plastic bags are free, they are convenient for spontaneous shopping.

Table 2: Opportunities ranked from most important to less important

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux Interconnections and uncertainties I illustrated how several problems were interconnected. Similarly, it is important to be aware of broader interconnections. For example, the global impact of the Swiss plastic bag decision should not be underestimated, because flying plastic bags don't stop at the border and ultimately end up as ocean litter (UNEP, 2009). Or, plastic bags, like other plastic products, lay stress on petrol or gas. Or, like packaging and other single-use items, they increase littering. Consequently, the reduction in the use of plastic bags will not solve these issues, but could contribute to do so. There are uncertainties about problems too. For instance, signatories believe that plastic bags increase dioxin emissions when incinerated (Swiss parliament, 2010), but FOEN maintains that combustion gases are successfully filtered (2009a). Similarly, as we lack temporal hindsight, the relative contribution of plastic bags to problems (1), (2) and (5) mentioned in Table 1 are largely unknown. Uncertainty also arises from how stakeholders relate to key figures. Swiss consumers use an average of 130 plastic bags per inhabitant per year (my estimate, based on Tschudin, 2011) and plastic bags account for 5% of Swiss littering (FOEN, 2009b). First, there is uncertainty when we compare these to world figures (see Figure 3)4. Second, there is uncertainty about whether Switzerland is better off than other countries (as argued by the Federal Council in Swiss Parliament, 2010). This second uncertainty is fundamentally subjective and based on the level of acceptability of risks posed by plastic bags (T863, Book 3, p.93). This has a major impact, as it influences how stakeholders value the necessity to act. My system of interest In order to formulate my system of interest (SOI), I used the technique of root definition with the help of CATWOE mnemonic (T863, Techniques, pp.73-75).

Indeed, calculation methods may differ from one country to the other. Moreover, do the figures count plastic bags used for transport only or do they include plastic bags used for packaging purposes as well (e.g. for vegetables, meat, and so on) ?

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux Table 3 displays my initial and final versions of CATWOE and root definition: CATWOE and the root definition of my SOI
Initial formulation CATWOE C (unchanged) A (unchanged) T W Too much plastic bags damaging the environment -> less waste from plastic bags Plastic bags pose multiple dimension problems during their whole life cycle. First they are based on petrol, which is a non-renewable and fast diminishing resource (forthcoming economic issue). Second, additional toxic are used in their creation phase (health and environmental issue). They are extensively used globally, but often unsustainably, as they serve most of the time as single-used bags before being thrown away (environmental issue). Finally their elimination is problematic (environmental issues). When incinerated, they release dioxin, which pollutes the atmosphere. Otherwise their biodegradability takes some hundred years and through illegal dumping, they pollute lands and oceans and potentially threaten wildlife. Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) (unchanged) Final formulation

Humans and wildlife Consumers, retail businesses, government. Plastic bag centred consumer economy -> citizens reusing reusable bags Plastic bags may be practical, but they damage the environment in many ways. Often, viable alternatives exist. Whenever possible, waste should be tackled at its source.

O E

Government Although relatively sensitive to environmental matters, Swiss consumers value liberty and comfort, they stick to habits and are slow in changing their mental models. A system to help Swiss consumers and retail businesses move away from a single use plastic bag economy to a reusable bag citizenship by setting the appropriate legal framework in order to tackle unnecessary waste at its source.

Root definition P Q R A system to diminish the total amount of waste from plastic bags (be it through landfill, incineration or illegal dumping) by setting up the appropriate legal framework in order to reduce the risks that plastic bags entail for the environment.

Table 3: My initial and final formulation of CATWOE and root definition

Formulating a satisfactory root definition required many iterations of CATWOE as Table 3 suggests. But it proved useful as it clarified in a concise and clear way my system of interest and my assumptions (i.e. Worldview) within my EDM situation.

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux It also helped inquiry into my situation thanks to the following measures of performance that my SOI and examples from T863, Book 2 helped define (pp.108-109):

Measures of performance
Measure E1 E2 E3 E4 Efficacy Efficiency Effectiveness Ethicality Question Does my system help consumers and retail businesses reduce their dependency on plastic bags? (time) How fast does my system improve the situation? (investments) How many resources (people and money) are required? Does my system enable consumers and retail business to tackle waste at its source? Does my system help to give a sense of responsibility to people?

Table 4: Measures of performance used to evaluate feasible and desirable changes

Identifying feasible and desirable changes


To identify feasible and desirable change, I considered the following options in the light of existing legislation (T863, Book 2): (i) ban5, (ii) tax6, and (iii) educate7. I then evaluated them against the measures of performance defined in Table 4. Legislation and schemes Three principles in the Swiss law for the protection of the environment (LPE) are particularly relevant. First, the prevention principle justifies any measure aiming to reduce the use of plastic bags, as it states that "damage that could become harmful or inconvenient [should be reduced] preventively and early enough" (LPE, art. 1, al. 2, my translation). Second, polluter pays principle (LPE, art. 2), could be relevant to justify taxation measures. Finally, the limitation principle could justify banning (LPE, art. 30, al. 1), as evoked by motion 10.3850. Schemes such life-cycle assessment (LCA) may inform the decision-making process by identifying the most ecological alternative(s) among different types of grocery bags. Notwithstanding Chase's claim that there is no consensus (2010), I would argue that some conclusions can be drawn:

5 6

Option promoted by signatories of motion 10.3580 and valued by some consumers (Jan-Hess, 2009). Option valued by some consumers (Jan-Hess, 2009). 7 Option promoted by the CI CDS lobby and the Federal Council.

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux 1. Reusable bags have less impact than plastic bags if they are reused (Carrefour, 2010) 2. Cloth and paper bags are problematic because they require a lot of water during manufacturing (Sustainability Victoria, 2007) 3. Biodegradable bags often have a worse impact than plastic bags (ibid., Khoo et al., 2010) 4. "Biodegradable and compostable bags must be placed under specific conditions to degrade properly" (Yon, 2010, my underline) Interestingly, these conclusions emphasise the importance of user behaviour (see points 2 and 4 above) and this has to be remembered at the take action stage. Evaluating options When it comes to evaluate options against my measures of performance, the "ban" option performs well except for "ethicality" (see Table 5): indeed, as the decision is made for them, consumers lose their ability to be responsible for their own decision. Evaluation of options
Options Ban Tax Educate Efficacy Efficiency (time) Efficiency (investments) Effectiveness Ethicality

Table 5: Evaluating options against measures of performance

The "tax" option performs relatively well overall: it could help to reduce the use of plastic bags overnight, while requiring similar investments as the "ban" option and less than the "educate" option. The "educate" option performs well except for "efficiency"; many resources will be needed to improve the situation. The most important drawback is that, before long, many problems remain unsolved. Concerning "effectiveness", differences are subtle. The "ban" option forces people to reduce and reuse, whereas the "tax" option encourages people to do so with the help of a monetary incentive. The "educate" option would probably give the best results on the long run. These measures of performance prove useful and transparent in evaluating options. However, they bear one important limitation. Because they are based on my system of interest that will differ from other people's systems of interests, their legitimacy is questionable. A participatory approach combined with interest-based negotiation (T863, Techniques, pp.69-71) could thus complement my 16

Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux evaluation in a more inclusive and fair way. For instance, it could help understand consumers' underlying interests in standing up for free plastic bags. Are they only interested to pay less or is there something more to it? Similarly, what underlying interests does the retail sector want to protect by conserving liberty of means in this EDM situation?

Taking action
At the "take action" stage of the framework, I considered unintended consequences (T863, Book 3, pp.88-89) and concerted action as relevant concepts to my EDM situation (T863, Book 3, pp.167175). Unintended consequences First, I considered unintended consequences in the light of the Irish and Italian cases. In Ireland, the "tax" was dissuasive at first, then people got used to it and increased their use of plastic bags again; eventually the levy had to be increased (Van der Zee, 2011). Italians were the biggest plastic bag consumers in Europe despite a levy; with the ban, they replaced plastic bags by biodegradable or paper bags (BBC, 2010). As mentioned earlier, these solutions are in fact new problems. Moreover, if there are provided for free, they would not contribute to solve the "throw-away mindset". Second, I considered unintended consequences from the perspective of retail businesses, who claim that the use of plastic bags helps use less packaging (CICDS, 2009). They actually refer to plastic bags used in place of packaging for hygienic reasons (hereafter referred to as packaging plastic bags), whereas motion 10.3580 mentioned only plastic bags used for transport. Given the quantities involved8, both should ultimately be taken into account to significantly improve this EDM-situation. However, in my view, packaging plastic bags fit more in an investigation on packaging and would thus lie outside the scope of this project.

For instance, Coop hands out 125 millions free shoppers and 170 millions plastic bags at fruit and vegetable department yearly (Rttimann, 2011).

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux Concerted action As highlighted earlier, the environmental impact of grocery retail bags depends on the types of bags available, which in turn depend on the framework set by the government and on retail's choices. It also depends on how much there are reused and how they are disposed of by consumers. This highlights the need for concerted action between stakeholders: the government will need to create the appropriate framework conditions, the retail industry will need to provide the appropriate kind of bags (e.g. not provide free alternatives) and the consumers will need to do the appropriate choices (e.g. reuse bags). Recommendation Based on my investigation of the situation with the help of T863 framework, I would recommend an integrated action based on 4 pillars: regulation, education, monitoring and safeguards. I would personally privilege tax regulation, because it can rapidly improve the situation while fostering consumer responsibility. Education and monitoring are essential to secure improvement in the long-term. Monitoring should be included both to measure progress (e.g. to what extent has littering been reduced?) and to adapt taxation if needed. Education should especially promote reduction in use and reusing rather than recycling only. It could also draw attention to the environmental implications of our current lifestyles. Finally, safeguards should be included to prevent unintended consequences such as increasing the use of paper or biodegradable bags. Replacing plastic bags by another free alternative should also be prevented. Additionally, packaging plastic bags are worth considering separately to prevent an increase in packaging.

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux

Critical Appraisal

Developing practice
The concrete use of T863 framework helped me practice environmental decision making in a systematic, transparent and systemic way. First, in using the framework step by step, I ensured that problems are not formulated without considering multiple perspectives, or that action is not taken before evaluating multiple options. It helped me personally not to jump too rapidly into conclusions and enabled me to revise my initial view on taxation for instance. Second, various techniques were useful to achieve more transparency. For instance, CATWOE helped me to clarify underlying assumptions of my ideal model against which I evaluated options. Similarly, the use of a rich picture enabled me to recognise my own bias in this EDM situation. Third, in using T863 concepts such as interconnections and techniques linked with systems thinking, I managed to focus on my system of interest, without forgetting the context. Similarly, by maintaining dialogue between stages and make them feed on each other, I enhanced my understanding in a more holistic way than if I had used a more traditional 'scientific' approach. I managed to move away from a perspective where there is a "right" and a "wrong" solution, by acknowledging that solutions are "right" or "wrong" within a system that has been constructed by an observer and that they do not exist independently from that person.

Developing a broader understanding


As mentioned earlier in this paper, I gained new insights into my EDM situation with the use of several techniques. For instance, using systems map to conduct a stakeholder analysis helped me clarify power relations (e.g. who makes the decision? Who is impacted by the decision? ), as well as

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux identify stakeholders whose role is unclear to me. Similarly, the MCD diagram helped me to understand the importance of lifestyles and related mental models in my EDM situation. In particular, systems thinking helped me to realise that plastic bags are a really complex issue that extends over time (from the short- to the long-term) and over space (i.e. pollution by plastic bags indubitably links Switzerland with neighbouring countries and the rest of the world). Moreover disagreements over problems and solutions arise mainly because of different boundary-setting (e.g. economic, societal or biophysical focus) and values, as pinpointed by the analysis of metaphors. My understanding developed with the help of the framework and by reading about related issues, problems or potential solutions. My use of the framework gave me new insights leading to a more comprehensive understanding of my situation and made me look for new subjects to read about. In turn, reading often added new perspectives relevant to one or several stages of the framework.

Recommending practice
In my view, the constant reminding of multiple perspectives and the use of systems thinking make up two main strengths of T863 framework. The former opens up space (T863, Book 4, pp.16-20) for understanding and the latter clarifies the boundaries used to close down space for inquiry. Weaknesses arise if and when we fail to use techniques critically. For instance, it is necessary to acknowledge that, while techniques reveal insights that may help to improve the situation, no single technique can elucidate the broad picture. Another weakness arising from the use of T863 framework is that it is time-consuming. This may raise practical problems in "real life". Indeed, the Federal Council states that a ban would be disproportionate compared with the scale of the problem in Switzerland (Swiss Parliament, 2010). But would they be ready to invest in a rather long process involving multiple stakeholders to solve this EDM situation?

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Nicole Bachelard-Cheseaux Given the "time-consuming" aspect, I would argue that such a framework is not adequate in all EDM situations. But for complex situations which relate to key issues with a long-term biophysical impact (e.g. pollution), such a framework is worth considering. Furthermore, when a situation requires concerted action among several stakeholders, it can definitely help to find viable long-term solutions.

Conclusions
Jarvis views "plastic bags [as] a totemic issue [and argues that] a ban might well encourage people to think about waste more broadly" (quoted in Van der Zee, 2011). I completely agree with the fact that plastic bags are a totemic issue. My investigation made me see that the use of plastic bags is also dependent upon lifestyles and bears interconnections with other single-use items. With the help of T863 framework, I reviewed my initial position and understood how my new position developed. I thus found that it is a very valuable framework to develop better practice and understanding of EDM. In the light of this project, I definitely see its potential for future uses. My current investigation could help inform problems raised by packaging or growing reliance on single use items in Switzerland for instance. And T863 framework could help tackle them transparently.

References
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