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Toronto City Council Bans Plastic Bags

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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.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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0 Comments
  • Steve

    I know on the surface this seems like a great move however it is short sighted and a decision based on emotion as opposed to credible information and facts. What are the options? Paper? It is more expensive to manufacture, a much larger carbon footprint (think of what 1000 plastic carry out bags looks like and 1000 paper bags. It is like comparing a grape to a watermelon), a very expensive and in depth process to recycle. Cloth bags are very expensive, have their useful shelf life and are not recycled.
    A plastic bag is the easiest thing to recycle. You can take one bag and easily make another bag from the same material. It gets sorted, melted, repellitized and extruded into a new bag. VERY SIMPLE PROCESS!
    What do we tell visitors shopping in Toronto? Sorry you will have to carry your things in your hands?
    There are smarter options to banning a useful product. Yes plastic has a bad wrap however I wonder who pushes that message?????? Could it possibly be the paper industry that absolutely dwarfs the plastic industry. If you want to do an easy comparison just mentally note how many paper products you come across in a day compared to plastic and then do some research on the process paper must go through to be recycled. I wonder why our money is now being printed on plastic instead of paper? Could it be because there are benefits to that change?

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