Hi, everyone. We're having a technical problem at the moment, but we're hoping to go live shortly. Thanks for your patience.
by Chris Hannay 6/7/2012 4:01:23 PM
We're very sorry for the delay. We're ready to begin now. Unfortunately, due to a technical error, we've lost all questions left before 12:20 p.m. Please resend your question and we'll try to get to as many as we can before 1 p.m.
by Chris Hannay 6/7/2012 4:22:58 PM
by Chris Hannay 6/7/2012 4:25:17 PM
Good afternoon everyone. Jo-Anne here from the RCO. Thanks to the Globe and Mail for hosting this discussion. Happy to take questions.
by Jo-Anne St. Godard,... 6/7/2012 4:25:52 PM
It should be noted that it is only Toronto city council that passed this ban, though Fort McMurray, Alta., also banned plastic bags a couple of years ago.
by Chris Hannay 6/7/2012 4:27:30 PM
This is really difficult to estimate at this point. We know that the levy reduced over 240 million plastic bags so we think that that the ban will at least double that reduction. CO2 measurement will be difficult until we see the full affect
by Jo-Anne St. Godard,... 6/7/2012 4:27:53 PM
As most retailers do now, I predict that there will be many reusable options offered to customers. I also expect that many will have paper on hand as well.
by Jo-Anne St. Godard,... 6/7/2012 4:30:30 PM
We're getting quite a few questions about paper, actually.
by Chris Hannay 6/7/2012 4:32:37 PM
These comparison are difficult to do as for each example there will be differing variables. For example, how many times does the reusable bag get reused? Where did the paper and plastic bag get manufactured and how far did it travel to market. By and large we know that reusing a product or package almost always yields the highest environmental benefit.
by Jo-Anne St. Godard,... edited by Chris Hannay 6/7/2012 4:36:22 PM
We would agree that reusable options are definitely superior to any bag that gets used once. I think what we may see is retailers start charging for paper bags.
by Jo-Anne St. Godard,... 6/7/2012 4:40:44 PM
But to your point on reusing, many say that they have been able to reuse plastic bags and they wonder about the alternatives.
by Chris Hannay 6/7/2012 4:41:09 PM
Being the Recycling Council of Ontario we absolutely support recycilng initatives and businesses. Having said that even with a 5 cent levy many millions of bags were still ending up in landfill and not making it to your facility. I doubt that people will use kitchen catchers to bag their goods at the point of sale, that has been thrown out alot in these debates but never substantiated with any proof. If in fact, shoppers choose garbage bags to bag there goods we need to absolutely make sure that the City has a mechanism to properly collect them and get them to you. I assume that if this plastic is heavier that is even better for your business.
by Jo-Anne St. Godard,... 6/7/2012 4:47:46 PM
There are many,many municipalities around the world that have adopted this type of ban. I agree there is an initial adjustment but polls after the application of the levy have shown that over 90% of Torontonians changed their behaviour and moved to resusable options. Meaning they didn't feel inconvenienced. There has not been alot of consumer 'backlash' with other cities that have implemented the ban.
by Jo-Anne St. Godard,... 6/7/2012 4:57:00 PM