They're caught up in trees, squirreled away in kitchen pantries and floating along with the ocean's current. They're plastic bags — among the 84 billion that Americans use each year — and heightened public awareness is punching a hole in their popularity. Leading natural and organic retailers such as Seattle's PCC Natural Markets and Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, have taken up the cause by banning or phasing out the use of plastic bags. More surprising is the strong response coming ...

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