As a young farm kid, when I went with my mother to the market, I remembered that paper bags were used. As these bags were easily ripped and very sensitive to moisture or liquid, they were just single use items. disposal were very easy as they were just put into the bin together with other biodegradable items. There were no paper bags scattered around.
Then came industrialization. Plastic factories have sprouted like mushrooms. Slowly, plastic bags replaced the paper bags due to their robustness and re-usability. These plastics are not biodegradable. Disposal created a problem. Informal settlers who occupied most Metro Manila esteros (water ways) just throw their garbage on these water ways.
Hopefully, the implementation of the paper (green) bag use policy is not only "ningas-kugon (temporary)".