Here is a excellent link that offers information about the energy waste caused by producing so many plastic bags. Check out the sections under Other Facts **Why paper is no better than plastic, **Impact on Oceans, **Environmental Impact.
They mention paper bags use 4 times as much energy to produce than plastic. Also, only 1-3% of all plastic bags actually get recycled, which also consumes energy to do. The impact they have on the ocean must be the worst part.
When you rip a pair of pants, get a hole in them, or stain them, please don't throw them out! Let's try to reduce waste & the use of plastic/paper bags by making bags out of materials that would otherwise be thrown out. If you don't have sewing skills, find someone in your community who does. I have an easy design for recycling pants that are beyond repair into convenient, durable, washable bags. Just throw them in with the rest of the laundry!