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The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday April 8, 2009
The city won't consider a ban or tax on plastic bags for at least three years.

Councillor Brian McHattie's appeal to his colleagues for an immediate prohibition fell flat yesterday. Instead, the public works committee went in the opposite direction, pushing consideration of deterrents to 2012 -- several years later than staff suggested.

Residents are already facing enough restrictions with the new garbage rules, said Councillor Tom Jackson. He noted some residents feel as if they are receiving less service and have fewer options since the city started its one container plus one clear bag program.

Adding a restriction on plastic bags would be too much, too quickly, said the Mountain councillor.

"I can just see that potentially compounding it."

Staff had proposed examining a ban or levy at the end of this year if there was not a substantial drop in plastic bags heading to the landfill.

But Jackson noted the province has a voluntary initiative to reduce plastic shopping bags by 50 per cent by 2012. The committee agreed with his amendment that Hamilton shouldn't crack down before the Ontario deadline.

Other cities have taken a harder line on plastic bags. Last year Toronto, which has special taxation powers, approved a five-cent levy on bags that will begin this summer. The northern Manitoba town of Leaf Rapids became the first Canadian municipality to ban plastic bags back in 2007. Source.

Hamilton backs away from plastic bag crackdown
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