OTTAWA – With Canada’s ban on single-use plastics beginning to come into effect shoppers will soon be unable to buy single-use plastic bags, which will be replaced by reusable bags they will use a single time, hang on the back knob of the closet by the front door, and completely forget about.
“Canadian retailers are incredibly excited about this new initiative that will save the planet and allow us yet another avenue to squeeze already financially struggling Canadians,” said Micheal Shewwater of the Canadian Retail Council.
“While we know that compared to a five-cent plastic bag, a reusable cloth-like bag for $2.99 is more expensive, it’s important to remember that consumers will actually save money over time assuming they reuse the bag more than sixty times, which is definitely a realistic thing people do.”
Across the country, Canadians had mixed reactions to the impending ban.
“I know plastic bags are bad for the environment, but I always recycle them and use them for something else like picking up dog poop, so I’m at least using them twice,” says Emily Neeson of Toronto, who explained that she frequently leaves her reusable bags in the trunk of her car so she’ll remember them on next trip to the grocery store, but then forgets they’re there and uses them only once.
“Reusable bags are great for other things even if you don’t remember to bring them to the store,” says Marc Aubain of Montreal. “When I get a really nice one, I like to use it to bring a few bottles of wine to a friend’s house, and then forget it there forever.”
Aubain adds that his friends will then usually find the bag the next morning, but won’t use it either because they feel that it belongs to him, and instead will politely fold it by the front door waiting for him to pick it up, which he never will.
For their part, the Federal Government released their own list of suggestions of ways to use reusable bags you don’t reuse. The list includes using them to take your clothes to the laundromat in 20 different bags, taking your record collection for walk, or moving your things between your boyfriend-who’s-not-technically-your-boyfriend’s place because he won’t give you a drawer and bringing a duffle bag to his house will give him commitment issues.
Due to the porous nature of the fabric of reusable bags, the government cautioned against using them to line garbage bins as you would with a soon-to-be-banned plastic grocery bag, and instead suggested Canadians buy a roll of single-use Glad plastic garbage bags, which aren’t included in the ban and are available at Loblaws for $15.