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A carrot instead of a stick - Toronto SUN

May 25, 2011
Jenny Yuen
Toronto Sun

When shoppers go into Target stores in the U.S., they are offered a nickel back for bringing in their own reusable bag, rather than relying on plastic.

That method is a much more positive way to communicate reducing the use of plastic bags without putting another fee on the backs of taxpayers, Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby said.

“It’s better to use carrots than sticks. We tend to use a lot of sticks,” she said.

The department store began its incentive program in its 1,755 American stores in November 2009, giving customers five cents for each bag they supply.  

“We know that our guests really want to bring their reusable bags but part of it is remembering to bring them every time they come, so by offering them a small incentive it can really make a big difference,” said Target spokesman Jenna Reck.

As Mayor Rob Ford pushes for Toronto’s bag fee to be axed, some environmentalists fear the message will eventually be forgotten.

“Plastic bag bans are happening increasingly around the world. In South Africa, Australia, Ireland, and many cities and states in the U.S., we found voluntary programs just don’t work,” said Toronto Environmental Alliance waste campaigner Emily Alfred. “Some people have made changes and some attitudes have changed but in the Atlantic provinces, they had tried a bag fee, cancelled it and usage went back up again.”

As originally published here: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/25/a-carrot-instead-of-a-stick

2011-05-25 A carrot instead of a stick _Toronto SUN_.pdf53.76 KB