New mayor might look at plastic bag scam

 the Mona Lisa of Clutter... a plastic bag of plastic bags... Pictures, Images and Photos
An article in the Toronto Star recently reminded me of an important issue in the city of Toronto (click here to read it). While campaigning, Toronto’s new mayor Rob Ford said that he might look at the ¢5 plastic bag fee that all supermarkets must charge customers in Toronto. The goal is to discourage the use of the bags which are not good for the environment and instead use reusable bags. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst programs in terms of its execution that I have ever seen. The new mayor is yet to actually look at this program as he only assumed his new role earlier this month, but hopefully he will scrap this foolish program, which is really just a scam.

You might think that this idea is a good one because it does reduce the amount of plastic bags that people use. However, the ¢5 per bag that is charged by the retailer to the customer does not have to go anywhere. The city of Toronto does not require this money to go to any environmental causes or to the government. In fact, the city does not even ask how much money was collected by each retailer or how that money was used. Essentially, this amounts to dictating the price of something and forcing consumers to line the pockets of retailers. The icing on the cake in this scam is that a plastic bag only costs ¢1-¢1.5 each, which means that this number was picked out of the air by government officials. Obviously, supermarket chains are happy about this program but, it should be scrapped ASAP.

As a candidate that ran on cutting costs and decreasing the size of government, it is imperative that Rob Ford scraps this ridiculous program. If not, at least require the money to go to the relevant cause and force the supermarkets to be transparent about the money earned from it. This is one of those chances that the new mayor can use to show people that he is a man of his word. It is a program that most people dislike and it is one that should be relatively easy for him to get rid of. He should take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible.