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Loblaws bags a nickel starting tomorrow

Jan 11, 2009 04:30 AM


It’s like there’s a scarlet letter burned across Jennifer Sutcliffe’s forehead as she hastily piles eight bags of groceries into the cart – “P.” For plastic. For polluter.

“I have cats. I use them for the litter,” she clarifies apologetically.

Not good enough. Gazing down the line of nine open cashiers, Sutcliffe is the only one who didn’t BYOB. The 40-year-old retreats from the Loblaws store, which as of tomorrow will begin a plastic fee of 5 cents per bag.

A source said proceeds will go to the World Wildlife Fund.

Embarrassment aside, Sutcliffe says it’s a good idea. Although not everyone agrees.

Imelda, who does not want her last name used, is annoyed by the added cost.

“It’s not convenient. What, am I going to carry around my own boxes in the car all the time? Sometimes you’re just driving by the grocery store and pop in,” she said.

She had better get used to it. In December the city of Toronto passed a controversial decision to “tax” consumers a nickel a bag. This will take effect city-wide on June 1.

When Loblaws begins the fee, it will join No Frills and Food Basics, which already had already charged for plastic bags for years.