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Toronto and grocers propose fee on plastic bags

The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD), a group comprised of some of Canada's largest grocery retailer...


The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD), a group comprised of some of Canada’s largest grocery retailers, joined by Toronto Mayor David Miller, have announced an agreement on a proposal to reduce dependency on plastic retail shopping bags.

The CCGD led alternative, which will be tabled at the December 2, 2008 City Council meeting by Mayor Miller, will apply a minimum five cent charge for every retail plastic shopping bag distributed in retail stores in the City of Toronto, in order to boost waste reduction efforts. The effective date will be June 1, 2009.

“Our retailers are committed to supporting the waste diversion efforts in the City of Toronto and have worked collaboratively to find a solution that works for the City, retailers and consumers,” said Nick Jennery, President and CEO, CCGD. “Fee-for-use systems are amongst the most effective in attracting the attention of our consumers and affecting an immediate and quantifiable change in behaviour. In fact, our members have seen first hand that in stores where a 5 cent charge per single use plastic shopping bag is applied at the cash there can be a 55-65 per cent reduction in bag use.”

“I am proud of the leadership the grocery retail industry has taken on this issue,” said Mayor Miller. “They have demonstrated their commitment to waste diversion and to their corporate environmental principles. Torontonians are looking for ways to reduce their dependence on disposable products. I am confident they will give these retailers their total support as they move forward with this initiative next year.”

CCGD members have been actively contributing to the reduction of plastic bags through a variety of initiatives including offering reusable bags and in-store bag recycling programs. Implementing a fee-for-use system for plastic bags will expedite reduction targets and support the City of Toronto in achieving its overall 70 per cent waste reduction target.

Consumers can do their part to help retailers meet and exceed the City’s 70 per cent waste reduction target by:
— Bringing their own reusable bag when grocery shopping. Reusable bags are available at all CCGD member stores in the City;

— Choosing not to take a bag or asking the cashier to “sticker” large items or single items purchased; and

— Bringing clean and empty unusable plastic bags back to store where in-store recycling bins exist.

The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD) represents members of the grocery retail, wholesale and foodservice distribution industry across Canada. In Ontario, members include, Kitchen Table, Loblaw Companies Limited, Metro Inc. and Sobeys Inc. Our members are significant contributors to the economic health of the City of Toronto and through their network of stores proudly employ over 40,000 people in the City.

For Information Contact:

Kim McKinnon
Vice President, Ontario
Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors
Email: kmckinnon@ccgd.ca
Phone: 416-922-6228 x330

Stuart Green
Deputy Director Communications
Office of David Miller
Email: stugreen@toronto.ca
Phone: 416-338-7119


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