We all know how terrible plastic bags are for the environment—they choke wildlife, they don't break down in landfills (or in oceans), they add to our demand for oil, and they aren't easy to recycle, which is the biggest reason why 90 percent of plastic bags in the U.S. are not recycled.
Yet an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year-380 billion of those in the U.S.—and governments have been slow-moving at best to do anything about them.
According to Salon, a study a few years ago "found that the inks and colorants used on some bags contain lead, a toxin. Every year, Americans throw away some 100 billion plastic bags after they've been used to transport a prescription home from the drugstore or a quart of milk from the grocery store. It's equivalent to dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil."
But things are finally starting to pick up. Here's a quick look at a few spots around the world that have banned plastic bags, or at least placed a tax on their use.