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T.O. won’t ban bags

<p>Leaf Rapids, Man., population 539, did it last April. China, population 1.3 billion, did it yesterday.</p>

Task force working on plan to reduce packaging


Leaf Rapids, Man., population 539, did it last April. China, population 1.3 billion, did it yesterday.





So why can’t Toronto, a middleweight in the fight against environmental degradation, give up the plastic bag?





The Chinese government announced it would restrict the production, sale and use of all plastic carrier bags as part of an effort to reduce waste and ease pressure on the environment. While that decision earned kudos from the province and the city yesterday, neither is contemplating a similar move. And the bag industry says banning free bags doesn’t work and can backfire.





A Toronto city task force is working on a plan to sharply reduce packaging such as bags, throw-away coffee cups and “clamshell” takeout containers, in co-operation with the retail and fast food industries.





But the city doesn’t have the sweeping powers the Chinese government is wielding, Mayor David Miller told reporters yesterday. “We don’t have the legal ability to ban in-store packaging.”


 
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