CPIA Statement on Toronto Plastic Bag Ban

Canadian Plastics Industry Association
TORONTO, CA, Oct. 3, 2012 - After the City Council of Toronto, Canada, passed a plastic bag ban back in June, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) issued the following statement on the Toronto Council's Vote to Ban Plastic Bags & Rescindment of the Bag Fee By-Law.
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TORONTO, June 7, 2012 - The Toronto City Council voted yesterday to a) rescind the bag fee by-law effective July 1, and b) impose a ban on plastic bags. The ban bylaw, which will take effect January 1, 2013, bans plastic grocery and other single use plastic retail store bags.

The following is a statement from Carol Hochu, President & CEO of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, the national association representing the plastics industry in Canada.

“Plastic bags are not an environmental issue in the City of Toronto – they have a combined 82% reuse and recycling rate. Toronto has a state-of-the-art green bin and blue bin recycling program. Further, Toronto recycled bags are turned into items like plastic lumber for the Toronto Western Beaches boardwalk (32 million bags). Plastic bags represent less than 1% of landfill and 13/100’s of 1% of litter in the City.

While we’re pleased that the bag bylaw has been rescinded, the bag ban seems to have come from nowhere, without any forethought or discourse, and it’s a shock. We are going to look at all of our available options, including the legality of the ban.

As it stands now, this is a lose/lose decision - Torontonians are losing an option for taking home their groceries and other retail purchases; a segment of the plastics industry is losing a source of revenue, impacting jobs and investment; retailers are losing because they'll have to offer their customers a replacement to the plastic bag; and the environment is a big loser because it will lead to more paper packaging in Toronto's waste stream.

The motion to ban was based on a whim. Council had no legal opinion in hand, had not consulted with residents, and did not talk to industry or retailers, large or small. Most importantly, Council has not demonstrated any municipal benefit of a ban. It was a flawed process that has led to a flawed result.”

For more information on Toronto’s environmental solution for plastic bags, go to www.plastics.ca and click on the “Toronto plastic bags” icon near the top of the page (http://www.plastics.ca/Recycling/PlasticBags/TorontoPlasticBags/index.php).

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