Committee seeks compromise in coffee cup debate
Councillors on Toronto's works committee have given a temporary reprieve to the city's coffee shops, telling business owners they have until the spring to come up with a compromise plan to limit the use of paper cups with plastic lids.
But the committee also recommended that the full council go ahead with next month's debate on the merits of a 10-cent-per-bag charge on plastic bags used at grocery stores.
The city has been pushing to crack down on fast-food packaging, setting a goal of diverting 70 per cent of solid waste away from landfills by 2010.
On Wednesday, the public works committee debated recommendations in a staff report that that included giving a mandatory 20-cent discount for customers who use their own coffee cups. The report also recommended banning paper cups with plastic lids.
The committee agreed last night to give the restaurant industry until April to come up with a compromise. But grocery store operators could face new laws governing plastic bags as soon as next month.
That's when the full city council will debate parts of the staff report recommending that grocery stores offer a 10-cent per bag discount for customers who bring their own bags. There is also a recommendation to ban bags that can't be recycled.
"As it stands, the recommendations going forward to council cannot be supported by our industry. It's going to be a huge burden on businesses and consumers," Kim McKinnon, vice-president of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, told ctvtoronto.ca on Thursday.
McKinnon said the changes will cost grocery store operators $88 million per year. She said that voluntary measures to curb plastic bag use and encourage recycling are already working.
McKinnon also noted that the industry will now try to convince the full city council not to pass the plastic bag recommendations when they vote on the matter in December.