The best way to go? A reusable bag, not a plastic bag. Anya Hindmarch's wildly popular "I am Not a Plastic Bag" tote is helping give the reusable bag some sex appeal.
Paper bags or plastic bags: the conclusion
Both paper and plastic bags require lots and lots of resources and energy, and proper recycling requires due diligence from both consumer and municipal waste collector or private recycling company, so there are a lot of variables that can lead to low recycling rates.
Ultimately, neither paper nor plastic bags are the best choice; we think choosing reusable canvas bags instead is the way to go. From an energy standpoint, according to this Australian study, canvas bags are 14 times better than plastic bags and 39 times better than paper bags, assuming that canvas bags get a good workout and are used 500 times during their life cycle. Happy shopping!
Plastic bags are getting banned more and more. Read on in TreeHugger...
TreeHugger Picks: Ban the Bag
IKEA Bans Plastic Bags for Good
China Launches Crackdown on Plastic Bags
China’s Plastic Bag Ban is Working, So Far
San Francisco To Ban Plastic Shopping Bags
Whole Foods Bans the Bag
Bag Ban Phase 2: All Retail Stores
Wait for Us! Australia Wants to Ban Plastic Bags Too
Ban or No Ban: The Debate over Plastic Bags in LA (UPDATED)
More about reusable bags and shopping bags
Which is more environmentally friendly: paper or plastic?
Q&A;: Retail Carry Bags - Paper or Plastic?
I'm Not an Ethical Plastic Bag
Anya Hindmarch's Carrier Bag
The Mini Maxi Shopper: the Reusable Bag you won't Forget
Reusable Shopping Bag Madness in Australia
Bring Your Own: Reusable Bags , Cups & More
Minimalist/Modernist Reusable Tote Bags
Bags of Change: Carrot Better Than Stick