Toronto City Council Ban on Plastic Shopping Bags

Well, Toronto has done it! It has indeed came as a welcome surprise to the people when the Toronto City Council decided to ban plastic shopping bags in the city. As expected, the move has annoyed Canada’s leading plastic trade groups, but has been cheered by local environmentalists.

Toronto’s city mayor had asked the City Council to take out the five-cent plastic bag fee that the city has compelled retailers to charge customers, and the council voted in favor of the mayor’s motion to cancel the fee.

However, during the debate, a City Councillor, proposed a complete ban on plastics. The council then passed the new law with a vote of 24-20 in favor of plastic ban starting in 2013.

Thus from January 1, 2013,Toronto will become the first major city in Canada to ban the single use of plastic bags and the law will prohibit the retailers from giving out single-use plastic bags to their consumers. Until now, the retailers were compelled to charge a five cent fee on plastic shopping bags.

There is no doubt that this law would leave retailers and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association irked. But then,  the Toronto Environmental Alliance is considering this move as a step towards sustainability.

The country’s largest supermarket chain, Loblaw, has already eliminated plastic bags since 2007 and now other retailers are also forced to switch to paper bags at a cost of 20 to 30 percent more.

We think this is one good step for Toronto towards going green.

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