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Legal action prompts Toronto to ditch bag ban

By Michael Lauzon, Plastics News
Posted 29 November 2012

Toronto City Council has rescinded its decision to ban plastic bags in retail operations after taking into account legal advice after two industry trade groups filed lawsuits to overturn the prohibition.

The ban was due to begin 1 January. Retailers have been charging 5 cents a bag as a prelude to the ban although some dropped the levy when the city council stopped imposing it over the summer.

Many retailers, however, confused by mixed signals from City Hall, have continued to impose the 5 cent levy.

Toronto had added plastics bags to its curbside collection programme for recycling materials even while it planned to ban bags from its stream. This only added to confusion about the status of plastic bags.

The city faced legal challenges over the ban from the Ontario Convenience Stores Association and the Canada Plastic Bag Association.

The ban’s reversal passed by a 38 to 7 vote.


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