Paper or BYOB?
Well San Francisco has done it again, and shaved it's head. Oh, no never mind, it still manages to get tons of media attention with bold little moves. In recent weeks, the San Francisco legislative committee has been mulling over banning plastic grocery bags at stores within San Francisco. The proposed ordinance would require merchants to offer customers only bags made of recyclable paper, plastic that can be turned into compost or sturdy cloth or plastic that can be reused. When I bring my bags in, I often get a few cents off, but I'd rather see bags be charged for, since it brings it up to the forefront in people's minds.
CNN Money has a great run down on why plastic bags are dangerous, but on the flip side paper is no saint either. The solution of course is keeping a stash of reusable bags. I've been to enough trade shows in my life to have gotten a huge number of canvas bags. My favrorite came from O'reilly' Mac OS X conference (I am showing my geek cred here in spades) where the schwag bag they offered was manufactured by a company called Morningstar Trading where they have the "Round Trip" line of Canvas bags made out of recycled canvas. They have individual bags available for Earth Day, my favorite being the "Enviro Shopper Tote" and "Medium Tote Bag" which both have a flat bottom meaning you can put cans and other items like a conventional paper shopping bag.
Keep a few in your car, and you're always ready.