The recent Times article does bring up points that give me pause though:
Mr. Thrasher, the Brooklyn man battling the wad of bags under his sink, finds plastic bags ideal for, of all things, composting. He uses them to store food scraps in the freezer, then takes them once a week to his farmers’ market. With a paper bag, he said, “I’d worry it’d rot through.”
That is exactly what I do with my compost. I don't have a yard to make my own compost and an inside worm bin isn't an option right now, so it goes in the freezer and then to the community garden or Union Square. I suppose I could look for a big plastic tupperware when my under-sink pile is depleted.
On the other hand, this argument gets no traction with me:
There are, indeed, logistical issues that may make it impractical for many New Yorkers to bring their own reusable bags along when they shop. Most people walk or take the bus and subway, so they have no car trunk in which to carry a number of them. Because so many purchases are spur of the moment — as easy as spotting a storefront and remembering you need candles or toothpaste — sometimes the backpack, briefcase or humongous handbag that can store them are not handy.
How long do you have to live in New York before you learn to only shop for what you can carry, and have a bag big enough to stuff that spur of the moment purchase in? Come on. This is what we do.