Plastic bag bans and fees

Many jurisdictions (cities, states and countries) have enacted fees or bans on various forms of plastic. Bans on single use plastic bags and plastic water bottles are common. StopPlastics has prepared a list of jurisdictions with bans or fees and updates it on a regular basis.

Toronto's plastic bag by-law

In 2009 Toronto City Council introduced a mandatory 5-cent bag fee, which had been successful in slashing the number of bags dispensed.

In 2012 Toronto City Council, at the behest of Mayor Ford, scrapped the mandatory fee.

At the same time as council voted to scrap the fee, they adopted a motion tabled by Councillor David Shiner to to ban plastic bags outright as of Jan. 1, 2013. Members of the plastics industry commenced legal action and city lawyers warned they had a case. After a closed-door discussion, councillors decided not to proceed with a ban. The end result was no controls on plastic bags.

Fortunately, major grocery chains still charge the 5-cent fee and have reported significant reductions in the number of bags used. But that is not enough. Toronto needs a complete BAN.