Regardless of whether Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wants to abolish the Plastic Bag Fee, or whether Torontonians who voted for Rob Ford want to abolish the Plastic Bag Fee, Loblaws has decided that it will continue to charge the fee.
Here's the story from the Toronto Star:
Ford wants to scrap five-cent bag fee. Can he?
Mayor Rob Ford now says he wants to scrap the five-cent plastic bag fee. His opinion may not matter.
Even if Ford succeeds in persuading city council to eliminate the bylaw that makes the fee mandatory, some retailers will simply continue charging shoppers for bags, says Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a Ford ally. Loblaws will be one of them, says a spokesperson for World Wildlife Fund Canada, which receives money from the proceeds of Loblaws’ fee.
The company and its competitors did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.
The Toronto Environmental Alliance and World Wildlife Fund Canada said the fee should be preserved. Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, an environmentalist, said its elimination would be “idiotic.” And while Langdon said the grocery industry group would not issue an opinion until more details emerged, he said its members considered the fee a success.
Several major retailers, Loblaws included, extended the fee across Canada even though they weren’t required to do so. At Loblaws alone, World Wildlife Fund Canada spokesman Josh Laughren said, fees have produced a nationwide reduction of 1 billion bags. Langdon said the number of bags distributed at companies that belong to his group has dropped by 71 per cent in Toronto since the fee bylaw took effect in 2009.
If the purpose of the fee was to shape people's habits, and according to each and every one of these fee-supporters it's been very successful at that, then why now when the fee is removed should things change? The people who were against using plastic bags have now bought their cloth bags and they'll continue to use them, right? And the people who still went ahead and paid for the bags, obviously would do so regardless of what is done, so continuing to charge them for the bags makes no sense. At the end of the day, if the fee was a success, then its removal shouldn't be such an issue now. And if it wasn't a success, then it should have never been implemented. Either way, it has to go, it's that simple.
The sad reality for Loblaws is that they will lose the customers who have a choice about where to shop and would prefer not to pay for plastic bags... They've been forced to pay this whole time, and now they'll be able to get the bags for free (if it goes through), so it's not a big decision there.
PS: The majority of items you buy in stores are wrapped in plastic, yet the City of Toronto needs to have a Plastic Bag Fee on yet one more piece of plastic? How does that make any sense whatsover? Not to mention Joe Warmington reported today in the Toronto Sun about a "Waterloo teen science genius Daniel Burd [who] used yeast, water and landfill dirt and made plastic bags disintegrate in about three months." (SOURCE: It's time to bag the ridiculous bag tax.) Ok, don't feed me your environmental crap about plastic bags anymore....Thanks Joe.
PPS: And one more thing... I know Loblaws says it's donating some of our money that it collects from the Plastic Bag Fee to the World Wildlife Fund Canada and etc., and that's great, but I think I can better decide where I would like to donate my money, you know what I mean? I've got nothing against the WWF, I'm just saying...
PPPS: "Call it a tax or call it a fee, at the end of the day, they're all taxes to me..." - jackandcokewithalime
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nayukim/3827778100/sizes/z/in/photostream/ by http://www.flickr.com/photos/nayukim/ on flickr