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Old 11-26-2008, 10:06 AM   #1
europrince
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City of Toronto plans five-cent bag fee



http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/543376

November 26, 2008
John Spears
City Hall Bureau

Toronto shoppers will have to pay five cents for every plastic shopping bag they get from stores in the city under a proposal worked out between the city and big grocery companies.

Industry officials from the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors which represents the large grocery chains have called a news conference today to announce what they are billing as an "alternative proposal" to the city's plan to curb plastic bags.

But since Mayor David Miller's office relayed the news release, and Miller himself will attend the event at a city garbage transfer station, the big grocers' proposal appears to have his blessing.

Council approval would be needed for a bylaw putting the nickel-a-bag fee in place. Instead of being required to give customers a 10-cent refund for every bag eliminated, as the city originally proposed, grocery stores and retailers will probably be able to keep the money.

At the same time, they will need to commit to firm deadlines for sharply reducing or eliminating plastic bags not designed for reuse. That's likely to mean promising to slash plastic bag use by 70 per cent as of 2012, though another proposal would require eliminating throwaway bags totally at some later date.

Grocery stores have lobbied fiercely against the original recommendations in a city staff report, released earlier this month, which would have applied the 10-cent-per-bag refund requirement to all city retailers.

The same report said takeout coffee shops should have to give a 20-cent refund to customers who bring their own mugs. But after loud protests from restaurants, city officials agreed to take a second look at the coffee cup proposal and report back next spring.

Grocery stores and other retailers were not offered the same breathing space on the shopping bag issue. That set off a round of furious lobbying and negotiating by the big players so as to reach a compromise by the time council next meets on Dec. 1 and 2.

Retailers had complained that under the city's proposal, it would be difficult to judge how many throwaway bags had been saved when customers brought their own bags.

They also complained that the 10-cent refund would drive up their costs and therefore increase grocery prices.

Negotiations over the past 10 days produced a revised plan: Instead of refunding money for bags saved, shoppers will have to pay a nickel every time they walk away with a nonreusable bag. Some discount stores like No Frills already charge for grocery bags.

Allowing retailers to keep the money allows the city to argue that the charge is not a tax. There are limits on the city's taxing powers and an attempt to levy a tax on plastic bags would probably be challenged in court.

In fact, city staff clearly advised in their report this month that "a tax or fee on plastic retail shopping bags is not feasible under the City of Toronto Act."

But some retailers may still opt to challenge the city's right to require a charge on bags, no matter who gets to keep the money.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:27 AM   #2
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:34 AM   #3
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man Toronto is dropping in my books daily.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:45 AM   #4
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Better than discounting non-bag users...
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:58 PM   #5
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good. less plastic being produced better for us. or they can come up with a way to recycle it properly. Instead of just throwing it out.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:05 PM   #6
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^^wait, what?

How is less plastic going to be produced? Who said anything about taxing plastic bag production? What the article said is that is that customers will now be charged 0.05$ per bag. This may, or may not influence bag production (very likely not).

What it will most likely result in, is stores using paper bags.

Our city is ****ing retarded. We need to elect a libertarian government.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:09 PM   #7
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Most of the plastic we've ever produced still exists somewhere on this planet. It doesn't just go away.

For example, the Pacific:
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23156399-2,00.html

(see how I did that? A link! To news!!)
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:10 PM   #8
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well what it means is that less people will opt for plastic bags when shopping becuase it will cost money. No Frills has been doing this for years. I would assume ( I dont have numbers nor want to research it) but if people reduce their plastic bag purchasing, that the company would eventually scale bag plastic bag orders since alot less of their stock would be used, which means in the long term less bags would be produced.
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:04 PM   #9
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I just came back from China, they have the same deal, you go shopping & don't have a bag, they charge you 15-cents for a plastic bag, so most people just bring their own, it's the same for some european countries as well.
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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Its not fair that the chains get to keep $0.05, that money should be given back to bag producers so they can invest in designing recyclable packaging, rather than chains reducing number of bags which will put the plastic bag industry out of business.
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sirex View Post
good. less plastic being produced better for us. or they can come up with a way to recycle it properly. Instead of just throwing it out.
they should just ban plastic bags
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:32 PM   #12
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they should just ban plastic bags
and what effect would that have on the plastic bag producers and workers?
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:03 PM   #13
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and what effect would that have on the plastic bag producers and workers?
Who cares?

The point is to develop sustainability, not feed some guys kids. If demand for bags goes bust, then the industry adapts. That bag worker will be sewing together burlap in no time.
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:37 PM   #14
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****ers. what the **** am i supposed to throw my trash in??????

im not paying 5 cents to throw trash away!

im gathering a bunch of boxes and throwing everything (banana peels. egg shells, meat, bottles, paper) into the ****ing garbage chute. ****, i dont care if it makes a mess. Luckily the garbage chute is right across from my door i can even have it in open position and play basketball with the garbage.

i want my goddamn plastic bags!
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:10 PM   #15
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So they lowered the tax from 15% to 13%, now we have to pay for bags? wtf.....
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