Italy has taken a step no other county has attempted- they've banned plastic bags. The ban went into effect January 1, 2011 and includes all non-biodegradable, single-use plastic bags. This is a huge step for a country responsible for using 25% (20-25 million bags per year) of all plastic bags used in the European Union.
Worldwide 500 billion- 1 trillion plastic bags are used annually. Over 100 billion of these are used by Americans. Most are never recycled and end up in landfills or our oceans. Floating plastic bags closely resemble the foods of sea turtles and are mistakenly eaten. This can cause blockages in their digestive system and eventually result in death.
It doesn't take a nationwide ban to reduce the use of plastic bags. Do your part to save sea turtles and bring your own bags when you shop!