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Edmonton and Calgary tax single-use items

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan22,2024

Edmonton and Calgary tax single-use items

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Edmonton and Calgary have forced businesses to replace plastic bags with paper bags .

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The ban on single-use plastic products in businesses in Calgary and Edmonton has forced entrepreneurs to change their habits. Bags are now made of paper, and forks are made of wood, while bags cost $0.15.

At the OEB Breakfast Co. restaurant in downtown Edmonton, manager Princess Binasoy says the move benefits the environment, but customers don't seem ready for such rapid change.

People have been using [plastic] bags forever. This change frustrates some [customers who now have to pay for a bag], she notes.

According to her, the majority of her customers do not do not bring their own reusable bags.

His restaurant uses about a box of 250 recycled paper bags per week. According to the Uline website (New window), an industrial equipment distributor, a box of 250 recycled paper bags costs $99. For 500 plastic bags, the price is $78.

These changes come after Edmonton's decision six months ago, and Calgary, on January 16, to restrict the use of single-use items in order to reduce the proliferation of waste.

The head of the City of Edmonton's waste reduction strategy, Alison Abbink, hopes this program will change consumer habits. She acknowledges, however, that the new rules did not have immediate effects.

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[For the moment] we don't see more or less waste, but the program is brand new, she emphasizes.

The City of Edmonton wants to reduce waste generated by single-use items by 20 per cent within four years. Since July 1, plastic bags are no longer available in city businesses, and paper bags cost $0.15.

Alison Abbink explains that the Municipality will publish a study next year to measure the effects of the strategy.

The City estimates that 1.2 million of single-use items are thrown away (New window) every day in Alberta’s capital. In Calgary, 14.7 million single-use items are thrown away (New window) every week.

Amélie Côté, source reduction analyst at Équiterre, says consumers need to change their habits and bring reusable bags when shopping.

The vice-president for federal and Quebec of Restaurants Canada, Maximilien Roy, believes that consumers and entrepreneurs will have to adjust: When there are changes, it's really this transition that can be difficult and costly for the consumer and the restaurateur.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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