Sunday, May 31, 2009

Toronto’s plastic bag tax starts tomorrow

Starting tomorrow stores in Toronto will have to start charging customers a $0.05/plastic bag tax, in accordance with a new city by-law.

Over the past year or so, I’ve been bringing shopping bags with me most of the time I go grocery shopping. I’ve also been making a special effort to take shopping bags to the mall or outdoor shopping districts. Sometimes it’s tough to anticipate just how many bags I’ll need in advance and what size is most appropriate.

Fortunately, I’ve been building up quite a collection. Seems like almost every retailer has a branded reusable bag for sale these days. Not to mention some help thanks to my sister and Mr. B. They’ve been buying me classic shopping bags during their travels.

I’m still drooling over an amazing reversible printed cloth bag I saw at Holts today but the $400+ price tag was way out of my range. And no, it wasn’t one among the sale items, which now are 40% off though June 18.

What’s your favourite shopping bag and what do you think of the new tax?
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  1. I have been using bags forever, really loved a bag I found down on the Beaches for $8, been using it for 3 years for most market runs, as well I have one larger bag, and 4 Sobeys bags, oh and a please mum one. I think the tax is good if it gets people using them.

  2. I think the fee for bags is a good idea as it is probably the only way to get most people to start bringing their own bags (as I generally do, except when I forget). However, going after consumers like this seems underhanded when the amount of garbage that store bags produce is almost insignificant compared to the vast amounts produced by companies who over-package their products.

    I still need bags for my household garbage and composting, so now I'll have to start buying bags specifically for that too. So I'm doubly penalizing and companies are completely free to continue to make way too much garbage by over-packaging!

  3. commoncentsmom and Glen, thanks for your comments.

    I agree with both of you about people needing to think more about bringing their own reuseable bags shopping. In fact, I'm preferring my fashionable bags to some of the bags used by stores.

    However, I agree wholeheartedly with Glen that the real issue is the excessive use of packaging by many companies. I've always recycled plastic bags. Now consumers will have to purchase more garbage and composting bags.

  4. I seem to be the number one purchaser of eco-friendly bags! You can't imagine how many times I go shopping without my bags, only to pick one up at the store.

    I do agree that overpackaging is something to consider as well. Clamshell packaging really gets under my skin (literally)!

  5. Tanya, I think I'd provide tough competition. ;) I keep on seeing more bags I want and then remind myself of the growing pile at home.


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