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Reusable Bags: Plastic, Paper or Cloth? The Controversy Continues

Just as the city of Los Angeles moves to ban plastic bags in supermarkets all together – becoming the largest U.S. city to take that step – Toronto’s mayor has vowed to do away with that city’s five-cent per bag tax.

In addition to Los Angeles, other large U.S. cities to make the move include Seattle and San Francisco. Under L.A.’s law, there will be an outright ban on plastic bags and a 10-cent levy for every paper bag. Plastic bags will be exempt from and still in use for produce, or for waste or garbage.

In Toronto, the issue has become where that 5-cent fee goes, estimated at generating $5.4 million for retailers every year. Mayor Ford is accusing retailers of simply pocketing the money while many claim they do give at least a portion of those proceeds to environmental causes. Loblaws, for example, points to the $4 million it has donated to the WWF since 2009. Rather than simply eliminating the fee, some City Councillors want it redirected to the city’s own tree fund.

Mayor Ford’s move comes even as the tax has had the acknowledged effect of reducing the use of plastic bags in Toronto by 53% since 2009. That reduction amounts to about 215 million plastic bags.

The disputed levy has obviously changed consumer habits in Toronto, as it has elsewhere that similar legislation has been enacted. Studies have indicated that a vast majority of consumers do support a fee if the money goes to environmental conservation.

Politicians may come and go, but the clear trend in North America leans towards more environmentally responsible packaging, and retailers who can offer their own reusable bags that are appealing to environmentally conscious consumers even as the bags provide increased brand exposure and promotional benefits beyond your store’s walls.

Looking for the best in reusable and paper bags? Contact us today for a pressure-free quote. We can help.

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ICEGREEN is one of the largest manufacturers of reusable bags and paper bags around, serving a wide variety of businesses and industries both large and small (Beverage Companies, Grocery Stores, Hotels, Pharmaceuticals and much more) across North America and beyond. And, as the manufacturer, you’re dealing directly with us, saving you time and money.