Editors' Blog

Green Living editors dish on the latest trends and happenings in sustainability.

Plastic bags for carrying away purchases and groceries are no longer complimentary in Toronto stores. Today the mandatory plastic bag fee (a minimum of 5cents) came into effect for the City of Toronto. Interestingly, larger companies are even using it as a jumping off point for initiating other environmentally-minded programs within their business.

According to PlanetGreen, 100,000 marine mammals in the North Pacific Ocean die each year from eating or being entangled in one of the 60,000 plastic bags used every second so Toronto is taking an impressive step at discouraging plastic bag usage. That said I can’t deny feeling surprised that people couldn’t connect with the issue by themselves, that it took an incentive-based approach to evolve out the behaviour. Our recent poll suggested many of our readers believe that making plastic bags a costly option is better than just eliminating them altogether. What do you think is the biggest obstacle for people activating their eco-social awareness? Is government intervention key to fostering positive environmental action? Let us know!

- Amanda Rappak

Image: istockphoto/bradleym