City plans five-cent bag fee
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.
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.