Canadian environmentalists celebrate a victory, as Toronto City Council votes to ban all plastic bags by January 1, 2013.
Mayor Rob Ford had pressed the city council to remove the five-cent retail bag tax that has been in place for some time. The surprising move was the vote that followed moments later: to ban all plastic bags come the new year.
The move is slightly shocking simply because of remarks made by Mayor Ford. “It is not a smart move by council to ban plastic bags,” Mr. Ford said after the vote. “I don’t think it is going to hold up in court. You can’t tell people they can’t give out plastic bags. To me it’s ludicrous.”
However, Toronto Environmental Alliance’s Emily Alfred stated to the Globe and Mail that ban is a sign the city is moving in the right direction. “It sends a clear signal Toronto wants to be an environmental leader,” she said.
This move puts Toronto in league with other major centres such as San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, that have already implemented a ban on single-use plastic bags.
Hopefully this will help to motivate other major Canadian cities to fall in line and aid in the removal of plastic bags for good.
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