Will the "paper or plastic?" question become a thing of the past around here?  349 cities, counties and states have already banned the use of plastic bags.  Could Missoula be next?

The city of Missoula is considering possible ways to ban or limit single-use plastic bags at retail stores.  A recent survey says the bags have a 12-minute lifespan with customer until it's discarded.  And depending on where they end up, they'll take anywhere from 10 to 1,000 years to decompose.

The fact that many bags were taken by the wind from the Missoula landfill, and were blowing across I-90 last month has officials even more interested in addressing the issue.

If you've heard the rumors that Montana is prohibited from placing a ban on plastic bags - that isn't true.  But cities in Montana cannot charge a fee for using a plastic bag like other places across the country have done.

Time will tell if shoppers in Missoula will need to start bringing their own bags to the store or maybe use paper bags, cloth bags or cardboard boxes provided by retailers.

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