A bag (also known regionally as a sack) is a common tool in the form of a non-rigid container. The use of bags predates recorded history, with the earliest bags being no more than lengths of animal skin, cotton, or woven plant fibers, folded up at the edges and secured in that shape with strings of the same material.
Despite their simplicity, bags have been fundamental for the development of human civilization, as they allow people to easily collect loose materials such as berries or food grains, and to transport more items than could readily be carried in the hands. The word probably has its origins in the Norse word baggi, from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European bʰak, but is also comparable to the Welsh baich (load, bundle), and the Greek βάσταγμα (bástagma, load).
Cheap disposable paper bags and plastic shopping bags are very common in the retail trade as a convenience for shoppers, and are often supplied by the shop for free or for a small fee. Customers may also take their own shopping bags to some shops.