Come 1 January 2013, shoppers in Canada’s largest city Toronto will have to make sure they bring their own bags or boxes to the checkout counter, following a surprise decision by the city council in early June. The agenda had originally called for a vote to get rid of the five-cent plastic bag fee but city councillors surprised both public and industry when on 6 June they passed a complete ban on plastic bags, with 27 in favour and 17 against. The ordinance is due to go into effect on 1 January 2013.
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA, Mississauga, Ontario) expressed shock at the vote, saying it would look into all options available – including an investigation into the ban’s legality – to prevent the measure from taking effect. “As it stands now, this is a lose/lose decision,” said CPIA president Carol Hochu, pointing out that not only do citizens have to make do without an option to carry their groceries back home, but the fact that the plastics industry, too, is losing a source of income, which will necessarily impact jobs and investment. Hochu added that far from being a benefit to the environment, the ban would lead to more paper packaging in Toronto’s waste stream.
Tags: compostable, biodegradable, photodegradable, recycling programme, North America
Source: Plasteurope, 2012-08-29.