The council couldn't take them even when they were taking plastic in.
There's your problem: If you have "the council", then you live in the UK, where they lack both Euros and technology. The rest of us have no problems recycling plastic. We could teach you how, all it requires is some electricity... er... does the UK have electricity?
Yes, Google assures me that 31% of their electrical grid is powered by coal, and another 31% is powered by gas. The UK has electricity. They are in theory capable of recycling plastic.
But if you insist on having reusable shopping bags, I have some made from recycled material I would be willing to sell you.
Er... the recycled material is the kevlar racing sails from America's cup boats. Those fuckers aren't going to decompose for a good 5,000-10,000 years, unless you have lasers, or are willing to use extensive chemical processes. General Urko will probably make his battle armor out of them, after the apes take over the planet.
I make a point of mentioning that fact, any time someone says "Hey, cool bag! Where did you get it?". I especially like talking about it in front of the city officials who voted to ban plastic bags, as if I don't recognize them a couple people back in line. They get to just put up with me showing the idiocy of their policies to the interested person.
But that's better than plastic bags, which degrade quickly to useful materials when exposed to U.V., right?