There are a couple of things here... with some help from a friend, I found out that paper bags thrown into landfills are the #1 source of methane pollution. Yuck!! On the other hand, my Dad informed me that there is at least one landfill (in Corvallis, Oregon) that is using that methane to produce usable energy (so cool). However, since not all landfills are utilizing this yet, it is best to minimize the quantity of paper bags thrown into landfills.
Zola does sell biodegradable doggie doo bags made from corn. The good news is that they biodegrade fast and don't sit in the landfill for ages. The bad news is that this country relies on corn for too many things (food, ethanol, corn products, and the worst, HFCS (high frutcose corn syrup)).
So there is no easy solution but to do the best you can. My solution? Whenever I get small paper bags, like from buying bread, bringing home potatoes or other fruits and vegetables, etc., I save them to reuse for cleaning my cat's litter box. So yes, I am using paper which goes into the landfill, but these particular paper bags are MUCH smaller than using a big paper grocery bag. So I continue to use my awesome cloth bags for groceries and other purchases, and reuse the paper bags that end up coming home with me, anyway.
Psst... Zola parties are fun! We have lots of discussions of this type. Let me know if you want to have one... :)
This here is my FAVORITE bag. I keep 2 of these in my purse at all times and whip them out whenever I need a bag (shopping, library, instant diaper bag, place to put unwanted coats, hats, etc.) Since these have been in my purse, I don't think I have brought any plastic or paper bags home...