Toronto City Council scraps plastic bag ban
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:37PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 28, 2012 1:41PM EST
Toronto's proposed plastic bag ban won't take effect in the new year after all, following an overwhelming city council vote.
The bylaw, which had been set to come into effect on Jan. 1 of 2013, was the subject of a 20-minute, closed-door city council meeting Wednesday morning.
After the morning's discussion, which included consideration of confidential legal advice from the city solicitor, councillors voted 38-7 to scrap the bylaw altogether.
"What that essentially means is that ... you can stop hoarding all those bags," CTV's Colin D'Mello said in a report from City Hall. "You will still be able to get a plastic bag from grocery and other stores."
The proposed ban was introduced by Coun. David Shiner in June, as city council debated whether to eliminate a five-cent levy retailers had been charging consumers for plastic carrier bags.
In his conversation with association officials following the vote to scrap the ban, D'Mello was told the 5,000 plastic bag industry jobs that might have been affected, as well as the two out of three Torontonians they claim oppose the ban, may have swayed councillors' opinions.
The surprise move to entirely ban plastic bags, rather than scrap the five-cent levy, had been targeted recently for a legal challenge by the Ontario Convenience Stores Association.
Council plans to revisit the subject next June.
A man walks along the street with plastic bags, May 2012. (AP / Jae C. Hong)