Here's one way to banish plastic bags: create a stylish cloth bag alternative and make it so desirable, people trample others to purchase their own! Oy!
Plastic bags are an out-of-control menace in our society. I have to admit to some socialist tendencies in my admiration of cities and countries who have outlawed plastic bags or associated some sort of fee to them. Apparently, Portland is one city considering such a regulation.
The other day I went to Trader Joe's (which uses paper bags instead of plastic anyway), and I realized on my way there that I had forgotten my bags. (They were sitting on the kitchen table, waiting for me to take them out the door!) Trader Joe's has these really cool new PVC shopping bags ($1.99 each), and I decided to buy a couple of them because our old (cloth) bags were getting pretty grimey looking. You can't begin to imagine my guilt at using new paper bags when we already have a plethora of bags at home.
I'm especially curious to learn more about Japan's apparent plastic bag reduction program, because that is definitely a country that loves packaging!!
I'm sure that nationally, we will do nothing like banning or reducing the number of plastic bags anytime soon. Not as long as we have W in office and industry has so much power.