Natural foods retailer Whole Foods has announced it will stop giving out plastic grocery bags by Earth Day due to the bags’ ubiquity and associated environmental problems. The company is opting instead for bagging customers’ groceries in 100 percent recycled paper bags and/or encouraging customers to bring their own reusable sacks. “More and more cities and countries are beginning to place serious restrictions on single-use plastic shopping bags since they don’t break down in our landfills, can harm nature by clogging waterways and endangering wildlife, and litter our roadsides,” said Whole Foods’ A.C. Gallo. The grocery chain estimates that the plastic-bag ban at all its 270 stores in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. will eliminate the use of about 100 million plastic sacks between Earth Day and the end of 2008. All together, Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic bags each year.