I keep waiting for someone to bring this up but as I haven't seen it anywhere in the discussions of the shopping bag ban, I am diving in. If we ban plastic bags and put a surcharge on paper bags, what will I use for garbage? I currently recycle my bags to use as garbage bags. Paper is obviously better because it will degrade in the landfill but you can't buy paper garbage bags. Since switching to reusable bags, I have no garbage bags and damned if I'm going to buy those heavy plastic kitchen garbage bags, which surely take much longer to degrade, if ever. I had to bring back a hundred or so plastic shopping bags from visiting my son in California to avoid that. That seems a bit absurd. I fully support using reusable bags. I am in Chile right now and they give you one plastic bag per item at the grocery store so you end up with dozens from one trip! When I pull out my cool little bag monster bag and cram everything in it, they look at me like I'm crazy. I explain in my limited Spanish that plastic bags are bad for the environment but they absolutely do not grok (translation and international distribution for Bag It please). What really needs to happen is someone needs to invent non-petroleum-based biodegradable garbage bags. Until then, a complete ban on plastic and especially a fine for paper isn't accomplishing much in the long run.
– Kaiulani Schuler