Other questions we heard from the community
How is the City mitigating the potential unintended consequences of this ban on plastic checkout bags, such as an increased use of paper bags?
The most sustainable long-term, solution is where the community fully adopts reusable bags, but not too many, to transport their purchased goods. To be a success, the number of both paper and reusable bags in circulation must also be reduced, to avoid the negative, life-cycle impacts associated with these products. The mandatory fees on paper and reusable bags proposed in the draft Bylaw are intended to ensure that the use of these plastic bag alternatives is also minimized.
I use a plastic bag to line my waste bins. Does this bylaw mean I cannot use plastic bags to collect my garbage anymore?
Plastic bin-liner and garbage bags can still be purchased in bulk at retail outlets. In many circumstances, dry residential landfill garbage does not require a plastic bin bag, but can be disposed directly into the residential grey bins. The City encourages residents to separate kitchen scraps, and recyclables from landfill waste. Bin liners are only required for certain waste types to minimize health concerns, dust or debris during pickup and transport, and can be made from other repurposed plastic packaging or purchased bags.
Do bag bans really work?
Removing this single-use material from our community will eliminate millions of checkout bags from the waste system. A fee or levy on bags have also been successful at reducing checkout bag waste.Both strategies, taken together, can achieve a higher degree of success. Alone, a fee may not be as effective at promoting a community-wide behaviour shift away from single-use materials.
Can reusable bags be recycled at the end of their intended service life?
Some reusable bags can be recycled, and some parts of reusable bags can be recycled. Some cannot. The City is working with regional, provincial and business stakeholders to identify the preferred recycling options, and also to define the reusable bag specifications that would be most sustainable options for retailers to consider.
Stay tuned for more information on this issue.
What should I do with my reusable bags when they become worn or damaged?
Materials should be recycled or repurposed, wherever possible. Business and consumers should purchase reusable bags designed for more than 100 uses.
Where can we recycle all the other types of plastic film and bags?
Residents can take their clean plastic materials to depots around the city and to many grocery store and retail outlets to have these materials recycled responsibly.
I use plastic bags to pick up my pet’s waste. What will I use instead?
Use the same dog bags that are available in dispensers or pet stores across the region. The City is working on a longer term solution for minimizing the pet waste at the landfill.
Will plastic bags that are currently exempt be considered under the ban in the future?
Yes. After the review period, the exemption list will also be considered for any changes.