In light of legal considerations, Council chose not to consider the bylaw to implement a plastic bag ban for January 1, 2013. Council directed staff to report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in June on options for measures that could be taken to reduce the use and disposal of plastic bags.

As of Sunday, July 1, 2012 retail businesses in Toronto no longer need to charge customers a five cent fee for plastic carry-out shopping bags. The Toronto Municipal Code Provision which required retailers to charge a fee for plastic carry-out bags was rescinded by Toronto City Council at its June 6, 2012 meeting.

The new bylaw (by-law No. 802-2012), amends Chapter 604 of the Toronto Municipal Code by removing specific points. This means that retailers in Toronto no longer need to charge a minimum of five cents for each plastic retail shopping bag requested or taken by customers or need to provide related signage. Retailers may recycle old paper signs.

Now that the City no longer requires Toronto retailers to charge a bag fee, it is entirely up to retailers to decide if they will continue to charge, and if so, the amount.

Retailers are still required to provide carry-out bags that are compatible with the City's recycling program, which means no biodegradable, compostable plastic bags or bags with metal grommets, string, cored, cloth or non-plastic material can be provided. See June 29, 2012 news release


Municipal Code Chapter 604, Packaging bylaw: