Green Nudges


    Syllabus : GS 3/Environment

    In News

    • Study suggests, A ‘green nudge’ cut single-use plastic waste in China,

    What are Green Nudges?

    • Green nudges are gentle persuasions to influence environment-friendly behaviour in people.
    • In behavioural economics, nudges are interventions that influence people’s choices to make certain decisions without restricting the choices available to them.

    The Purpose of Green Nudges

    • The green nudges were a result of Chinese regulations that prohibited online food delivery platforms from including SUCs in orders unless explicitly requested.
    •  In early 2020, China announced ambitious plans to phase out single-use plastics from the country, beginning with a country-wide ban on single-use straws by the end of the year.
    • plastic bags would first be banned in the major cities, followed by a ban in all cities and towns. China plans to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic items in the restaurant industry by 30%,


    • Nudges have been criticised in the past for being manipulative: they are not always transparent and can sometimes bank on ignorance or lack of awareness in people to work. 

    Recent Research

    • A study conducted in collaboration with an online food delivery platform in China found that making “no disposable cutlery” the default choice for orders and rewarding customers with “green points” led to a 648% increase in the share of no-cutlery orders.
      • This step could have significant benefits for the environment. 

    Do Green Nudges Work in India?

    • Zomato, an online food delivery platform in India that occupies over 50% of market share in the space, also has similar nudges on its app. 
    • While the company says that the option to skip cutlery was always available on its platform, it changed the default selection to “no-cutlery” in August 2021.
      • “Zomato’s no-cutlery initiative was designed to reduce not just plastic but overall material waste. 

    Source: TH