The articles we publish in this issue of Renewable Matter on the problem of carrier bags help look at the link between environmental and social issues with a fresh pair of eyes. The association between carrier bags and racial prejudices may seem far-fetched. But the technological frontiers of compostable plastic are very advanced and could lead us to think that the tools of environmental protection are a prerogative of the richer countries: ecology as a barrier between the North and South shores of the Mediterranean. But the efforts made by many African countries to get rid of the damage produced by an incorrect use of plastic show that the sustainability path is shared in very different contexts. Not necessarily is there a before and after, an industrial growth causin...