January 6, 2011
Rarely has an idea been so thoroughly embraced by Toronto residents as the five cent fee for plastic bags. Plastic bag use in the city was reportedly reduced by over 70 per cent in the first year alone!
As an environmental health initiative, the plastic bag fee has been an unqualified success. Nurses know there’s a close link between the environment and good health. When less plastic is clogging our water mains and filling our landfill sites there are fewer pollutants in our land and water and that helps build vibrant, healthier communities.
As an economic measure – quite apart from the five-cent fee – the initiative pays huge dividends to the taxpayer. First, it doesn’t cost one cent. But removing plastic bags from litter, from our water mains and from our scarce landfill saves the City money. And that’s not including any benefits from the five-cent fee that currently is either kept by the business or, ideally, invested in environmental programs by the retailer.
Indeed, the five-cent plastic bag fee was never about the money. Some people make the conscious choice to pay the nickel for a plastic bag. Most Toronto residents, though, opt to use other options, such as refillable bags and save the nickel. Some do so in order to take personal responsibility for contributing to a cleaner environment. For many it simply makes good sense to use fewer plastic bags.
Mayor Rob Ford says he listens to people who want to scrap the plastic bag fee. And he says he wants to hear from you. Now is your chance to have your voice heard by Mayor Ford and the new City councilors. Please send an email today to the Mayor – tell him the five-cent plastic bag fee makes good sense.
Whether you are a RN or RPN, student, family member or friend of a nurse, please write TODAY to the Mayor. He needs to hear the voice of nursing – loud and clear. Keeping the plastic bag fee makes good sense. It’s the right thing to do.