Many environmentalists consider plastic shopping bags a flagrant example of environmentally damaging wasteful consumption. I have a bit more sympathy for this view now that I am eating meals at home. Plastic bags do seem to accumulate at a remarkable rate from food shopping and it does seem a bit wasteful to just throw them out. However I suspect that considered objectively they aren't actually that wasteful. A single gallon of gas is probably the equivalent of 100 plastic bags in terms of resource consumption. So there are probably more important things to worry about.