Environmental Concerns Start at the Local Level

What explains this global movement against plastic shopping bags? Environmental concerns, of course.

Many assume that such rapid and widespread shifts in environmental policies around the world can only be the product of an international treaty or, at the very least, the outcome of a highly organized international campaign by leading environmental organizations. But, in the case of plastic bags, the movement appears to be largely local and largely ad hoc.

There is some debate over the environmental impact of plastic bags, particularly with respect to the amount of energy they embody when compared with other options. But the specific i Fast Fact

The U.S. Environmental I

Protection Agency esti- I

mates Americans use 380 I billion plastic bags a year.

Only 20 percent of paper 1

bags and just 1 percent of 1 plastic bags are recycled.

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