Paper or plastic? Regardless of which you choose, both paper and plastic bags are needlessly wasteful and have a harmful effect upon the environment. As consumers, we don't have to contribute to a growing trend of environmental abuse. In the United States, roughly 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away each year. In California alone, it is estimated that we throw away about 600 plastic bags per second. In 1999, around 14 million trees were cut down in order to create paper bags for commercial use. There are other options, however: canvas bags, which pose a reusable alternative to the paper and plastic bags found in the vast majority of our nation's retail locations, are available for shoppers to bring to stores of their own accord. Retail locations - such as grocery stores and drugstores - should provide an incentive for consumers to reduce the use of harmful materials by offering discounts to those who bring their own reusable bags for shopping. Please sign this petition if you believe that we, as a society, should work for the improvement of the environment and the betterment of traditional business practices.