A Vancouver based company called EPI Environmental Technologies has created an additive to plastic bags that makes them biodegradable. These bags have been sold for years to chains such as Wal-Mart (US), T&T Supermarket (Canada), Thrifty Foods (Canada), The Body Shop (international), Roots (US) and Tesco (UK), to name a few.
My Mother-In-Law told me recently that she had an older plastic bag from one of these stores which crumbled apart when she tried to open it up. She was quite impressed with the way that the bag had broken down, saying that she thinks it was definitely more green that the traditional plastic.
Let's keep these ones! I think that in general a ban on plastic bags is a good thing, but there should be some available for some instances. For example, if I buy a meat product, the packaging sometimes leaks, and I want to be able to put it in a plastic bag. I wouldn't want raw ground beef soaking into my reusable cloth shopping bag.
Let's ban the full plastic bags, and keep the ones manufactured by companies like EPI that crumble as they age. Sounds like a practical and green compromise to me.