How to stop using plastic bags as trash bags
HOW TO STOP USING PLASTIC BAGS AS TRASH BAGS
Trash can lining is one of two most commonly stated difficulties among people trying to avoid petro-plastic. (The other is pet waste). If you live in a community where there is a compost program it is easy to get by without using any trash bag or liner at all. Except for food waste, virtually all trash is dry and bacteria-free. The East Bay & San Francisco have such programs up and running. Small parts of Marin County are about to begin curbside collection of combined kitchen and garden wastes, too.
In fact, much of our household waste these days is plastic (and other) packaging. The packaging/dry waste can be used to contain any wet waste you throw out. For example, if I get an issue of National Geographic in shrink wrap, I can use that wrap to contain the next wet item – maybe a chicken bone or two. This way, it seems to work for me not to use any trash bag at all.
If you don't have composting and have successfully avoided all the plastic that seems to package everything, you can still put garbage directly in the trash can (unlined) and occasionally wash the trash receptacle.
If your situation doesn't allow for these options, you just may find that using some sort of trash liner (paper bag or plastic) is what you have to do. You can wait for a scientific breakthrough to replace fossil-fuel based, non-biodegradable, energy-intensive, single-use plastic bags. But it might be a fun challenge to see if you can get by without trash
bags even before then.