On Wednesday June 6, Toronto city council voted to approve a citywide ban on plastic shopping bags, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Why? Because fuck Rob Ford!
The day began with Mayor Ford introducing a motion to council to eliminate the five-cent plastic bag fee that bylaw required shop owners to charge since 2008. Ford got his way on the bag fee but council then made a surprise move and voted to ban the bags entirely by the end of the year.
Many are citing the passing of the full ban as a real kick in the pants for Ford who has had his fair share of upsets and embarrassments at council in the last while. Most notably Ford failed to introduce a new subway line promised during his election.
After railing against the bag fee for so long Ford didn’t want to focus on the loss of the bag altogether. Instead Ford wanted us to remember the mandatory fee was also ended on the soon to be nonexistent bags.
The fee had been cited as having significant success in reducing the total number of bags used in the city by 53 per cent since it was introduced. But Ford isn’t convinced by successful programs because according to him, the fee is, “really irritating people.” For what it’s worth, on his weekly radio show, Mayor Ford also blamed those same people because, “they don’t pick up the phone, they don’t go down to City Hall, they don’t ask questions.” Because if ever there should be outraged protest it’s over a five cent plastic bag fee. He is also convinced that had the angry bag fee-paying people amassed in Toronto’s Nathan Phillip Square to protest the five cent fee, the situation would be different.
There are obvious positive environmental impacts from banning the bags but we here at the Albatross really only had one concern: How are we going to pick up dog poop now? Luckily for us, since we don’t really do any research ourselves, the Toronto Star had the answer. For Colin Tobin of Modbury, England, where a similar ban has been in effect since 2007, he just uses freezer bags. “They are stronger and clean,” he says.
Fantastic idea, Colin! Why didn’t we think of that?Toronto Star Mike Licht, notionscapital.com / Flickr Creative Commons