02 July 2009

Plastic-bag initiative fails to catch on (National Post, 30 Jun 2009, Page A5)

Plastic-bag initiative fails to catch on
National Post
30 Jun 2009

A month after Toronto enacted a bylaw that forces businesses to charge customers 5� per pastic bag, other Canadian cities seem disinclined to follow suit, yet the measure continues to generate controversy. Calgary and Hamilton have rejected similar...read more...

Here in Toronto we recently had the Ontario provincial government decide to make all businesses charge customers 5 cents for each plastic bag needed. The idea was to push people into bringing their own bags with them and reducing the number of plastic bags out there. I was very upset the day that I found out about this new tax. Other customers were not impressed either.

One woman I spoke to wanted to know where the new money was going - to the government or to the businesses? It seems that the money is going to the businesses. What's interesting is that some of the larger businesses are donating some or all of this new new money to charitable causes. This is a fascinating twist - business using a tax as a promotional tool... clever.

It seems that other provinces were thinking about forcing this new tax on businesses and according to the article above, it isn't going well at all. What's even better is that there are those here in Ontario who may be taking the government to task and trying to find this tax unconstitutional and an imposition on business practices. I welcome such action.

I understand that the government is trying to limit the amount of plastic floating around the streets - however - there has to be a better way to do it. Placing a tax on individuals is uncomfortable for businesses who actually have to collect... and makes shoppers unhappy that during this time of penny-pinching they're being taxed once again.

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