Last night at Holiday Market, I saw that you brought in your own canvas tote bag to purchase groceries. On behalf of Mother Nature, I'd like to say thanks! Bringing your own bag to the store helps offset the footprint you're making on the world. You are really pointing out that the best possible choice in the "paper or plastic" debate is "neither".
Plastic grocery bags, when they become litter, can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. As they do, they leave little bits of toxic remnants in the soil and water.
Additionally, plastic bags drift far out into the ocean, where they strangle and poison wildlife. Seabirds and turtles mistake them for jellyfish and eat them, which can kill them in a variety of ways, none of them pleasant.
There is also the fact they are created from petroleum, a resource we are steadily depleting.
Although it's easy to villify plastic bags, we can't let paper get off scott-free. Paper bags are created from a renewable resource, but are not necessarily "greener". The production of paper bags creates more pollution than plastic. It also requires more energy and water, and takes up a lot more space in a landfill (although it will break down quicker).
So, grocery guy, by bringing your own bag to the store, you're doing a small part to reduce environmental stress, and it's something we can learn from. Every little bit helps, and if we all do this, things would be in a much cleaner state. I thank you for pointing this out, and the turtles thank you as well.
The fact that you are enacting and spreading this small bit of environmental awareness does nothing at all to offset the fact that you drove to the grocery store in a 10-mpg Hummer.
Go to hell, you self-righteous yuppie asshole. I hope you break an ankle hopping down from your high horse. People like you are the reason my generation has such a beef with the baby boomers.