Leading article: Green by nature

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The Independent Online

There is a cynical view of human nature which says that, while people might profess to be concerned about the state of the environment, they are not prepared to change their lifestyle in any serious way to preserve it.

The news that 3.5 billion fewer plastic bags were handed out by British shops last year is a powerful rebuttal of that argument. What lies behind this trend is a noisy public campaign calling for people to re-use their old bags rather than acquire new ones every time they go shopping.

The vast number of plastic bags in circulation has become a serious blight on the natural world, polluting the seas and choking wildlife. The public have been presented with the scientific evidence. They have accepted the link between their plastic bag use and environmental degradation. And a great many have altered their behaviour accordingly.

It's enough to make a cynic despair.