Environment: Attack on Litter

Of all the environmental problems that plague the U.S., litter has perhaps the lowest priority. But even when trash is out of mind, it is never really out of sight. Paper cups, tin cans, plastic wrappers, aluminum flip-tops and glass bottles are the detritus of profligacy, defiling the national landscape. The American penchant for littering is costly as well as unsightly; picking up the rubbish costs an estimated $1 billion per year. But the mess can be cleaned up, as Washington and Oregon are showing in different ways. One state uses the carrot, the other the stick. Both have been successful.


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