TORONTO (Nov. 28, 4:35 p.m. ET) — Toronto City Council has rescinded its decision to ban plastic bags in retail operations.
The decision came in a Nov. 27 vote. The Council took into account legal advice after two industry trade groups filed lawsuits to overturn the ban.
CTV and CBC news organizations reported the story the afternoon of Nov. 27.
The ban was due to begin Jan. 1. Retailers have been charging 5 cents a bag as a prelude to the ban, but some dropped the levy when Council stopped imposing it over the summer.
Many retailers, however, confused by mixed signals from City Council, have continued to impose the 5 cent levy.
Toronto had added plastics bags to its curbside collection program for recycling materials even while it planned to ban bags from its stream. This only added to confusion about the status of plastic bags.
Toronto faced legal challenges of the ban from the Ontario Convenience Stores Association and the Canada Plastic Bag Association.
The Council decision was not entirely predictable, because Toronto Mayor Rob Ford — who has pushed to drop the bag fee and who has opposed the ban — faces impeachment for alleged conflict of interest charges.
The ban's reversal passed by a 38 to 7 vote.