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Plastic Bag Ban
After moving to ban plastic bags by 2018, Mayor Denis Coderre hasn't announced any firm game plan on the bottle issue.
Bags can be recycled, but they still often end up in landfills.
Canadians use between nine and 15 billion plastic bags a year, enough to circle the Earth more than 55 times, according to Greener Footprints. (U.S. citizens use about 100 billion a year!) Few plastic bags are recycled. Plastic bags are bad and for the most part unnecessary. Many of us older folks remember a time, only a few decades ago, when we didn't have them. Sure, they're convenient, but is that an excuse to damage the environment and the life it supports?
From my vantage point in Toronto, the contrast between the current state of local politics and federal politics is an interesting study. King Harpernicus and Burgher Meister Ford are basically cut from the same cloth, but the results of the tailoring are very different.
Recently, Toronto City Council did something that Mayor Rob Ford deemed "ludicrous and dangerous": They banned plastic bags. Yet, while commentators such as the Globe and Mail's Margaret Wente decried the ban as the "new puritan cause," African countries have been out front on this issue for years.
These bans are a positive and necessary step and they do raise awareness, but the overuse of plastic is just a symbol of a larger issue. We use disposable things without thinking about the consequences. Maybe one reason we resist the idea of banning plastic bags is because somehow we know it's just the tip of the iceberg.
Gossip about the political future of acting Liberal boss Bob Rae seems to appeal to precisely two sorts of people: the gossips themselves -- who were in full force this weekend -- and Bob Rae. Meanwhile, Toronto City Council's Wednesday night decision to ban plastic bags from Hogtown supermarkets will provoke some manner of "national discussion" on the issue.