Affluence is a lot of garbage
Looking back on it now, the straw that broke America's back was the advent of the no-deposit, no-return bottle.
For a generation, Americans had paid a 2-cent deposit on their soft-drink and beer bottles. No decent American, imbued with Yankee thrift, could bear to throw one away...
A decade later, Americans were happily heaving out 30 million no-deposit, no-return bottles a day. Guilt free.
It was the beginning of the nation's new Never-Use-Anything-Twice syndrome.