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(article, Kim Carlson)
The basic question "Paper or plastic?" just got more complicated in San Francisco, where, according to the Chronicle, the Board of Supervisors has voted to prohibit "petroleum-based plastic checkout bags in large markets and pharmacies." So, the Gap won't have to stop using plastic bags, but Safeway and Walgreen's will. Retailers will have to come up with another wrapping option besides the estimated 180 million plastic shopping bags they distributed last year. Paper bags aren't prohibited, and biodegradeable bags, made from corn or other fibers, are another option. This seems like an opportune time to plug my answer to the paper-or-plastic question: my Greenbag, which is made from non-woven polypropylene, a petroleum by-product, as I understand it. I love the Greenbag (mine is red, actually); it's strong, lightweight, and roomy, and it has a sturdy bottom, just right for packing home a carton of milk and a good number of other things as well. The trick is remembering to have it on hand when I shop, which I manage to do only about half the time. Has anyone figured that one out?