Mary, the plarn idea is something i have heard of and find fascinating. the end results usually come out surprisingly cool. I want to hear more about it and see a pic if you can.
We keep our canvas bags in the car for shopping runs, so at least this way we won't forget them. We have bags from Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Goodwins (local market) and some string bags from (i think) the Real Goods catalogue.
When we end up with plastic bags, we use them as kitchen trash bag liners, dog poop bags (we keep those in the car for dog park days), and for running errands - stuff to return, stuff for the thrift store, books to resell, etc. We still have more than a human can use and am interested with the ideas I have seen of weaving the used bags into floor rugs and carry totes.
I don't throw away recyclables if at all possible.