Posted by Trevor Smith on September 30th, 2009
Almost four months after Toronto’s bag tax began, the bylaw remains controversial. While some citizens are opposed to the 5-cent cost, others are thrilled to be eliminating unnecessary waste within the city. It’s understandable that people will worry about their wallets during a recession, but the overuse of plastic had become a major problem. Studies showed Toronto residents using about 460 million plastic bags each year, with most ending up in landfills. Knowing that, it’s tough to argue with the bylaw, which encourages the use of reusable bags and should significantly cut down on waste. Here at Green Cricket, we have you covered, with affordable bags made from recycled paper and rice. Stylish, comfortable and durable, they can be used again and again, while eliminating the need for plastic.
Even so, accurate results will be crucial to measuring the success of Toronto’s bag tax, something the city’s politicians are worried about. Despite a fine for retailers who don’t charge, Councillor Michael Walker openly questioned their commitment. “There’s not enforcement, just a twice a year blitz,” he said yesterday. “It’s not a very enviable record for a politician if they pass all this stuff and then they don’t carry through.”
Still, private companies have come forward with very encouraging statistics. Loblaw, which began charging for plastic in April, has seen a 75% reduction in the use of those bags. Along with Sobeys, Shoppers Drug Mart and IKEA, Loblaw has committed portions of the tax income to various environmental groups.
Grab a reusable bag. Save yourself the tax, and help save the environment.
[written by Dan Levine]