I knew about it, but it was still a bit of a culture shock when we vacationed in San Francisco last year and were asked if we wanted a plastic bag at checkout, for a fee. This is common on the Left Coast and in many communities plastic bags are banned outright, not an option. This movement may be coming to Wisconsin. Yes, tiny Stoughton, southeast of Madison may become the first Wisconsin municipality to require a fee for plastic bags.
The "green" goal here is to get everyone to use reusable bags for shopping. My wife already does some of that, but mostly for her own convenience. She's developed a system and she likes it. As the Wisconsin Reporter piece points out, plastic bags have a number of secondary uses and it mentions one used at the Bader house: picking up dog poop. When I need bags for that purpose, I ask for plastic; when I need bags to get rid of newspapers, I ask for paper.
Here's food for thought; why do you suppose the greenies don't seek a ban on the supply side, production of plastic bags?