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Private member’s bill proposes ban on plastic shopping bags

A ban on plastic grocery bags would be a great idea. It’s the exception these days to not be asked if you need bags when you go shopping, upon which you’re usually charged five cents. While a mild inconvenience, it’s just five cents. More often than not, shoppers are fine with paying the money and going off on their merry way, bags of merchandise or groceries in hand.

This is a major impediment to truly ridding Canada of plastic grocery bags that seem to end up everywhere but the landfill: in the ditch, in parks and in the lake. The five cent charge is some kind of action being taken, but it’s just not enough to make plastic bags inconvenient enough for no one to want to use them.

A private member’s bill proposed at the end of October will push to ban plastic bags in Canada. The bill was actually inspired by a contest that asked students across Canada what they would do to improve the country. A pair of grade 11 students from London, Ontario suggested a plastic bag ban, because plastic bags end up in the ocean where they kill animals and are made of non-renewable petroleum.

Others have said that an outright ban isn’t the best way to go, and that instead loyalty points or other reward incentives might be a better way to encourage customers to quit plastic and switch over to reusable shopping bags.

Do you have an opinion on the subject?  Let us know your thoughts.

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