I was pleased when new biodegradable plastic grocery bags showed up at the store, nice for carrying groceries home in the rain. The printing on the bags says, "sanitary, compostable, carbon neutral, eco-friendly" - all the things an earth muffin like me wants in a product, right?

Almost as soon as I spied the bags, my friend McLaren came along and dispelled my optimism. "There's a problem with those bags," she said.

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