Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Saving the World A Nickel At A Time

As a child growing up in the eighties finding a nickel allowed you to enter a world of luxurious delights. That 5 cents in hard currency was the key to a sour key or a couple of those Kraft Caramels. Sure inflation has destroyed the value of that nickel, but in 2009 a nickel will let you save the world, one plastic bag at a time.

Starting June 1, a City of Toronto bylaw legislated that all stores would have to levy a charge of at least 5 cents for a plastic bag. It's refreshing to see the city take on the real issues of the day like plastic bags. Sure a pothole sits there unfixed for months but if you want a plastic bag tax or an unused bike lane thats going to tie up traffic the City will get 'er done.

While some people complain about the cost, a bag at discount supermarket no frills has cost 5 cents for years. When the concept was started in 1978 , a bag cost 3 cents. Either the shoppers of 31 years ago were getting ripped off, or a plastic bag is the best bargain in town. That doesnt take into account that when Loblaws started charging a couple of months ago there was a upgrade in bag quality. While they charged a nickel, they used more plastic. Is that really friendly to the environment? I now expect a quality bag for my nickel and I better not get a small bag if all I bought was a deodorant and a chapstick. Shouldn't I get the same quality big bag that others are getting?

What really tickles my fancy bone is that I used to feel guilty whenever I took a needless plastic bag. Now for just a nickel, the cost of 1 minute of downtown parking, I can pollute the planet guilt free. Thanks David Miller!

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