May 17th, 2024

Calgary city council dumps bylaw charging consumers for shopping bags

By The Canadian Press on May 7, 2024.

Nearly four months after the City of Calgary required businesses to charge for a paper bag and only hand out single-use items upon customer request the bylaw is dead. A women leaves a grocery store using plastic bags in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, August 15, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Calgary’s much-maligned bylaw imposing restrictions and costs on single-use items is no more.

City council has voted 12-3 in favour of ditching the rules following months of criticism from restaurants and consumers.

The bylaw was passed in 2022 but only put into place in January, and the goal was to reduce waste ending up in the landfill.

It required businesses to charge of minimum of 15 cents for paper bags and $1 for reusable bags.

Single-use utensils such as cutlery, napkins and condiments would only be provided if the customer requested them.

The cancellation takes effect immediately.

The city, in a statement Tuesday, said that while the bylaw is no longer in effect, businesses can still move forward with their own waste reduction practices, including charging fees for shopping bags.

The city also noted that federal regulations on single-use plastics remain.

The federal rules, launched almost two years ago, ban six categories of single-use plastics on the grounds they threaten the environment.

Those items are: plastic checkout bags, stir sticks, straws, food containers, cutlery and the ring carriers used for items like six-packs of drinks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2024.

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