Rob Ford thinks the plastic bag fee did what it came to do and should now retire

Rob Ford thinks the plastic bag fee did what it came to do and should now retire

(Image: Ed Yourdon) 

Toronto has faced a “war on cars,” a “war on bikes” and a “war on children,” and now the “war on plastic bags” is claiming Rob Ford’s attention—again. The mayor has renewed his calls to eliminate the five-cent bag fee, saying it has successfully changed consumer behaviour because it has brought plastic bag usage down by 53 per cent. The fee generates about $5.4 million for retailers every year, which councillor Michelle Berardinetti thinks should go toward the city’s struggling tree canopy. Ford, however, will ask his executive committee today to simply scrap the fee, since “it is highly unpopular among many residents” (including HST, the cost of a plastic bag balloons to about six cents). Still, even if Ford can overcome council opposition and strike down the bylaw that makes the charge mandatory, that doesn’t mean the fees will disappear: industry reps have said they‘ll probably keep charging for bags. [Toronto Sun]