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CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY Asia Pacific College of Business and Law
Assignment 3: Case Study
Due Date: Week 12, Sunday midnight (Darwin time)
Value % 50%
Length: 3,500 – 4,000 words (excluding title page, TOC, reference list, and appendices)
Learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Preparation: § Participate in lectures and tutorial in week 1 to week 12.
§ Engage with the learning activities on Learnline.
§ Start researching and working on your assignment early and clarify any question you may have with your lecturer.
§ Research relevant information and sources to address the assignment task.
Presentation: § Report-style written assignment that should be presented in a professional way (no executive summary needed).
§ Add a title page with your student information (name, student number, study location) and the unit information (unit code and name, lecturer name, assignment number and title).
§ Formatting suggestion: font style Calibri or Arial, font size 12, 1.5 line spacing, justified text, margins 2.5cm each, no indents, subheadings are permitted but should not be numbered, add page numbers.
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Task Details Task Plastic is a product that we can’t live without anymore, or can we? Modern
consumerism is closely linked to plastic, and technological advancements have allowed businesses and consumers to benefit from plastic-based products. Plastic may have made our lives easier, however, an explosion in plastic uses combined with the rise of global consumerism have resulted in a range of environmental issues. Plastic waste and environmental issues are being discussed widely by different stakeholder groups and the media, and often linked to the question whose responsibility it is to solve the issues around plastic.
The main task of the assignment is to analyse the situation around plastic pollution from a business ethics perspective and to critically discuss using the ‘tragedy of the commons’ and ethical theories. You can discuss this from a global perspective or focus on an Australian perspective. Please see below tasks and questions that you need to address in your assignment. The case study assignment is organised into three parts, an analysis, a critical discussion, and recommendation and reflection.
§ A ‘plastic tragedy’? As part of your analysis, address the following points:
Ø Provide a brief introduction into the use of plastic.
Ø What are the key stakeholder groups and their interests?
Ø What are the key environmental issues around plastic use?
Ø In your analysis, consider the different ethical theories.
As part of your critical discussion, address the following points:
Ø What is the ‘tragedy of the commons’ theory and how does this relate to environmental ethics?
Ø Do we have a ‘plastic tragedy’? Critically discuss in the context of your above analysis (stakeholders, issues, ethics) and the ‘tragedy of the commons’ theory.
Ø Do businesses have a right to use plastic and impact the environment for the sake of economic success? Use ethical theory to justify your answer.
Ø Does the environment and its non-human inhabitants have rights on their own? Or are the rights of the human population, especially consumers, more important? Use ethical theory to justify your answer.
Ø What role do environmental groups play in highlighting the environmental issues around plastic pollution and are these groups just anti-business? Use ethical theory to justify your answer.
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As part of your recommendation and reflection, address the following points:
Ø In your view, whose responsibility is it to act on the plastic issues to prevent a further decline of the environmental quality due to plastic pollution? And what kind of actions you think are needed. Explain.
Ø Which of the identified issues concerns you personally most and why? Explain.
Ø Overall, how do you see the future with regards to the use of plastic?
In this assessment, you have the opportunity to analyse and discuss a current global environmental situation from a business ethics perspective. The analysis part will enable you to research and review the use of plastic, the views of stakeholder groups, and the environmental issues associated with plastic. In the critical discussion, you then will need to use the ‘tragedy of the commons’ and ethical theory to critically discuss questions regarding the use of plastic and environmental aspects. In the recommendation and reflection part, you will have the opportunity to provide your personal views and reflections. Within your case study assignment, please address the above listed tasks and questions, as well as support your text with evidence.
Important specifics on the case study
For this case study, you are provided with a range of resources and are required to research and use additional appropriate academic and non-academic resources (at least 10 additional) for your discussion. Additional credible non-academic sources can come from, for example, government or non-governmental websites, interests or stakeholder groups, or credible news organisations. Furthermore, the textbook can be used as a reference, however, your research and focus of discussion should be based on above mentioned types of resources. Support your text with in-text citations and a reference list.
Make sure all sources are relevant and current (preferably within the last five years; however, seminal work can be older). The general structure of a case study is a report-style assignment that includes a title page, (an executive summary is NOT needed), a table of content (please number sections), an introduction (what the reader can expect), the main body of the assignment (analysis of the case, discussion based on the questions, and recommendation and reflection), and a conclusion (what were the main aspects/findings). You can use tables, figures or images to support your text. The reference list should follow on a new page, formatted in the CDU Harvard Referencing style. If needed, you can place additional supporting data or information in appendices.
Please note, keep electronic or physical copies of sources you used as you may be asked to provide them.
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Case study resources
Below resources provide you with initial information about the case study and associated issues. When assessing and using especially non-academic sources, always consider its authors and possible interests. As stated above, you are required to conduct further research on suitable resources, including academic ones. Plastic Perfect Plastic: How Plastic Improves Our Lives http://www.pepctplastics.com/resources/connecticut-plastics-learning- center/perfect-plastic-how-plastic-improves-our-lives/ Plastics and packaging https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/plastics-and- packaging We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-waste- pollution-trash-crisis/ How Big The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Really Is https://youtu.be/vrPBYS5zzF8 (3:18 mins) How to clean up our universal plastic tragedy https://theconversation.com/how-to-clean-up-our-universal-plastic-tragedy-98565 Your Plastic Diet | WWF-Australia https://youtu.be/xiuxHvAaZ2M (1:00 min) No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People https://www.wwf.org.au/ArticleDocuments/353/pub-no-plastic-in-nature-assessing- plastic-ingestion-from-nature-to-people-jun19.pdf.aspx?OverrideExpiry=Y New plastic innovations are being created each day https://www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com/whats-new-cool/ The tragedy of the commons
What is the tragedy of the commons? – TedEd talk by Nicholas Amendolare https://youtu.be/CxC161GvMPc (4:57 mins) The tragedy of the commons – Original article by Garrett Hardin https://cdu-edu- primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/7r169d/TN_jstor_archive_291724745
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Analysis of the situation and issues (25%) Analysed and demonstrated an understanding of the current environmental situation around the use of plastic and identified the main stakeholders, environmental issues, considered ethical theories and based on relevant and credible academic and non-academic resources. Discussion of the ‘plastic tragedy’ (35%) Critically discussed the ‘tragedy of the commons’ theory in relation to the use of plastic, as well as addressed the given questions with consideration of ethical theory. Demonstrated an ability to interpret, evaluate and formulate arguments and logical conclusions. Discussion is supported with on relevant and credible academic and non-academic resources. Recommendation and reflection (20%) Provided personal recommendations and reflections of the situation around the use of plastic and business ethics and supported with credible academic and non- academic resources where needed. Written report (10%) Written and presented in a professional way with correct spelling and grammar. Structure and flow supports the discussion and readability. Referencing (10%) Used appropriate academic journal articles, and other credible academic and non- academic resources, and referenced correctly in-text and in the reference list (CDU Harvard Referencing style + page number and link).
Penalties Late Submission Late assignments will lose 5% of the available marks each day (or part thereof). Plagiarism You are to identify the sources of any ideas and words in your assignment that are not yours. Unattributed materials may not be included in the consideration of your assignment and serious cases of academic misconduct will be handled in accordance with the Student Complaints Management Process.