Starting June 1, 2009, Toronto shoppers will pay 5 cents for new plastic bags. That's a decision city council made last night in an effort to reduce the problem of plastics in the environment. The Star article did not say whether this applies to all retail stores or just grocery stores. "Retailers will be required to accept reusable bags or containers from shoppers starting next June."
Councillors also voted to force take-out restaurants to develop food containers made of recyclable plastic, as well as to ban bottled water from being sold in city buildings. It's good to know, but in a way, a bit hard to believe the recycled plastic use has not been enforced before.
Will the 5 cents per bag be enough disincentive for people to really make a switch to non-plastic bags? It does not seem like much to turn people away from continue using plastic bags. If plastic bags were viewed the same way that cigarettes are, and heftier surcharges are added, it would really turn people off. Then again, maybe people would be happy to pay 40 cents per bag, just to "give back to" grocery stores.
In the case of plastic bags people do not have to pay any price for a cleaner environment. Toronto appears to have taken a forward step in preserving our world, environment and atmosphere for future generations. It's also time our province took more measures to cut down on waste. Product replacement. Now there's an opportunity for some entrepreneurial bag makers, or sewing hobbyists to be creative... Sew B's is taken though, but now, to learn to sew.