Something that hasn't yet been reported much upon: Rob Ford's executive council, his hand picked crüe, has voted 10-3 against killing Toronto's plastic bag tax, with only Rob Ford, Doug Holyday and Paul Ainslie voting in favour. Another defeat for the mayor on a signature issue. Another win for Toronto and the local environment.
Incidentally, some people have suggested that replacing plastic bags with those recycled bags you buy from Walmart gives you a net increase in carbon emissions. Well the primary goal of the T.O. plastic bag ban was not to cut carbon emissions; it was to cut the number of plastic bags laying around the streets and parks of our fair city, a goal it has met admirably.
This is a good example of a broader truth: that taxing is usually better than banning for reducing harms. Be that plastic bags or carbon dioxide emissions. Smoking to pesticides.
Bans, often justifiably, annoy people. And so are at risk of being overturned or ignored. A binary "all or nothing" polarizing problem. The light-bulb ban is a good example: it's just waiting to be overturned in the US (and hence, later aped in Canada). A tax on the other hand wouldn't have likely caused any more issues among the electorate than current plastic bag fees in Toronto, or eco-fees in B.C. (where I live).
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