Does Chicago have an important new use for newspaper bags?

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The City Council's decision to ban plastic bags from Chicago supermarkets troubles dog owners who are asking, aren't we environmentalists too?

Sans these bags, cleaning up after our pets will become a heightened challenge. But my friend Kiki Yablon wrote to ask, "What about newspaper baggies?"

It's a promising idea. Newspapers are highly promiscuous with their bags—the slightest hint of rain, and your morning paper comes sheathed in not one but two. (My suspicion is that as circulations plummet, no matter how many or few of these bags the dailies order, they wind up with more than they need.) But they can be put to many uses. Myself, I don't take a trip without slipping an extra pair of shoes inside a couple of newspaper bags. Another bag can be used for toiletries.

Newspapers could mount circulation campaigns around Yablon's idea. Eager Fido could be shown fetching the latest edition from the front porch. "Good dog," exclaims its master, extracting the newspaper from its bag and setting it—the newspaper, that is—aside. "Now off we go!"

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