Advocates say a vote this week to ban plastic shopping bags in Brookline could give them enough energy to spread the ban statewide.   State Rep. Lori Ehrlich said she'll co-sponsor a bill to ban the bags when the new legislative session begins in January.  The Marblehead Democrat introduced similar measures twice before, but Ehrlich said she feels there's enough momentum to pass it this time.

Nantucket was the first Massachusetts community to ban the bags, back in 1990. Brookline overwhelmingly approved the state's second ban this week.  Supporters of a ban say the bags are an eyesore that pollute the environment and threaten various animals that eat them.  Representatives of state retailers and the food industry say the bags' dangers are overstated, and people like them because they're convenient, cheap, and durable. (Associated Press)