NEW YORK (Reuters)- Australia and China are phasing out and Germany and Ireland are taxing them, but plastic shopping bags are still king in the United States. Outside supermarkets across the country, Americans push carts of a dozen plastic bags full of groceries to cars. Even the smallest purchases, like magazines on the newsstand, seem to fit in plastic bags. According to Washington, Americans use 100 billion plastic shopping bags a year. Headquartered in the think tank world observation Institute, it provides more than 330 services to everyone in the country every year. Most of them were thrown away. A handful of U. S. Cities and states have taken steps to reduce this number, and in the supermarket for organic and natural food shoppers-the whole food market, said on Tuesday that plastic bags will be phased out by Earth Day on April 22. But critics say the United States is years behind European, Asian and African countries. \"We are still at the stage of taking baby steps,\" said Eric Goldstein, director of the Natural Resources Conservation Commission of the United States. S. Environmental Protection Group. The plastic bag is favored for its durability and cheapness, and it is accused of clogging the sewer, filling the landfill and choking the wildlife. Environmental groups say they may take between 400 and 1,000 years to break down, and after that, their constituent chemicals will remain in the environment for a long time. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil are made from crude oil, natural gas and other petrochemical derivatives used in the manufacturing of the United States. S. Consumption every year. From Taiwan to Uganda, and some countries, including Dhaka, Bangladesh, either directly ban the use of plastic bags or tax consumers. Australia aims to phase out them by the end of this year, and China aims to phase out them by June 21. Ireland charges shoppers 22 euro cents ($0. 29 cents) The move reduced the use of plastic bags by 90. Some European cities started charging as early as 1980. Use 13 billion sheets in the UK British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged the country\'s largest supermarket chain to cut the use of plastic bags at a faster rate than planned, with each using more than 200 kilograms per person, and has said the UK can be thorough But in the United States, the federal government has been reluctant to take measures that interfere with competition and are not popular with consumers. “Pay for bags? I think we have to pay enough, \"says Melvin Perry, a shopper with four or five bags in each hand, coming out of a path mark supermarket in Brooklyn, New York City. Kaitlyn Tycek pushing a cart full of plastic bags and groceries says they are too thin and items must be double-layeredand triple- Bagging to avoid division. \"They used three or four bags at last. \"These are meaningless,\" said Tycek . \" She said that if appropriate rewards such as discounts are given to customers with luggage, she will switch to reusable bags. The U. S. EPA encourages a reduction in use, but does not state how it should be done. \"Like most waste management decisions, this is a decision made at the local level,\" said spokesman Roxanne Smith . \". While reusable cloth bags are already popular, most supermarket cashiers still offer \"paper or plastic\" and the answer is often not \"plastic \". \"The few local governments involved in the cause support recycling programs, not taxes or direct bans. California has enacted a law that New York City has just passed to require stores to set up recycling plans, but critics say they have no confidence in shoppers using them. According to Swedish furniture giant Ikea, families of four in the United States throw away an average of about 1,500 bags a year and recycle less than 1% bags. In last March, Ikea launched 5- A penny is charged for each disposable plastic bag as it reduces usage by half. San Francisco became the first and only one in the United States. In April, plastic bags were banned in U. S. cities, but the ban was limited to large supermarkets. New Jersey is considering phasing out plastic bags by 2010. \"This is a very bad situation,\" said Lisa Mastny of the World Watch Institute . \". GOVT. & Business Change AmericaS. The plastic and supermarket industries say a direct ban has led to the return of paper bags, which has led to their own environmental problems. According to the plastics industry, recycling paper bags requires more energy than recycling plastic bags. \"You have to ask what the goal is? If it\'s for the environment, then you won\'t achieve that, \"said Karen meletta, a spokeswoman for ShopRite in the United States. S. Supermarket chain stores, providing returns for recycling containers and 2 cents for customers who reuse plastic bags. Walmart spokesman Tara ladur Mart store, the world\'s largest retailer, says its U. S. The store has recycled containers and starts selling reusable bags for $1. She declined to say whether there were specific targets like Asda, a British subsidiary, to reduce usage. But recycling and kickbacks cannot be restricted, and the government should encourage less use, environmental activists say. \"They need to put in place a convenient mechanism for this public shift,\" says Goldstein of the Natural Resources Conservation Commission . \". Reusable cloth shopping bags have become popular and even popular in American pockets, but at most supermarket cashiers still offer \"Paper or Plastic? And the answer is often \"plastic \". \"The American mentality is that plastic bags come from plastic bags,\" says Mastny of the World Watch Institute . \". \"We don\'t think about where they are from and where they are going.