Plastic Bag Open Mike

Open MikeSports fans will be happy with this weekend. Here's hoping the Celtics beat the Heat and Ireland wins Euro 2012.

Feel free to discuss the Euro, NBA, NHL or skip right over to the Toronto council's decision to ban plastic bags from stores in 2013. I happen to like the ban... if you forget your reusable cloth bags, buy a paper one or two. It just requires a little discipline, and it's environmentally responsible. Hawaii, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles have made the same progressive, enlightened decision.

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You know the drill, discuss anything you want in this space. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you.


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Comments (73 - click here to join in!)

Joe Jackson

Would like to see England win Euro 2012, but their chances are not good.
Next choice........Netherlands.
Hup Holland Hupie!

June 8, 2012 @ 9:22 AM

John Ernest

Even here in our country, some cities have banned the use of plastic bags. Though plastic making companies will probably be out of work pretty soon, I still believe it is the best thing to do to save or at least improve where we live. Thanks for the post!

June 8, 2012 @ 9:46 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Why pick on plastic bags? What about all the extraneous plastic waste that comes with things like your Ikea furniture, plastic bubble packaging for SD memory etc., and I recently purchased a new laptop and everything including the power cord, manuals, power supply and the instructions were all bundled in plastic bags.

The Longos and Walmart out here have drop off bins for you to put your excess plastic bags so they can be recycled, helping to close the loop on recycling them.
I guess no one at City Hall reads the complete docket for the day, enabling Shiner to slip this through.

June 8, 2012 @ 10:14 AM

4x4 Time

We need to ban Tim Horton paper coffee cups. There are so many laying around, tourists think they are our national flower.

June 8, 2012 @ 10:33 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

In the future, we'll all be bring refillable coffee mugs to coffee shops.

June 8, 2012 @ 10:35 AM

CQ

So TorontoDad, do you do your family's weekly & extra pop-in grocery shopping? I'm an easy to food shop single; I wondered how a bag ban would effect parents.

June 8, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@CQ

I haven't bought a bag in years. Even before the law was passed forcing retailers to charge 5 cents a bag, I shopped at a grocery store that charged 5 cents a bag. That was enough to get me to collect some great cloth reusable bags (the Costco one has amazing capacity and strength) that I use.

I'll also use a cardboard box, on occasion. I honestly won't notice a bag ban.

June 8, 2012 @ 11:23 AM

G&M

Good interview with David Shiner here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/in-his-day-they-used-paper-bags/article4240993/

"The mayor is wrong. And unfortunately, the mayor can’t seem to adjust to change. That’s a problem. Because change is coming. Change is here now."

June 8, 2012 @ 11:25 AM

Mississauga Phil

Canvas bags are better anyways...they don't rip when you're 5 seconds away form your front door...spilling groceries everywhere...I hate you plastic bags!!!!

June 8, 2012 @ 11:26 AM

Ryan G

Drives me crazy at Tim Horton's lineups when the cashier calls you over too early.

They'll say "can i help you" before they're done with the previous guy and it creates chaos. It's obvious why they do it, but at the cost of pissing off customers?

There have been at least a dozen times when they've called me over too early, and not only is it crowded with the previous person in front of the cashier, the cashier is busy with them still, so they avoid eye contact and don't take your order, leaving you running the gauntlet dodging other people down that narrow strip.

A few times I've said, "why have you called me over when you're not ready to take my order?", after which they sheepishly look away. Not trying to be a prick but simply attempting to provide some front line feedback how these tactics annoy customers.

June 8, 2012 @ 11:28 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Mississauga Phil

When I was a kid, the groceries came home in paper bags. Now paper bags aren't idea, and certainly not as good as reusable cloth bags, but in a pinch they're a better alternative.

Now we just need to ban bottled water! :)

June 8, 2012 @ 11:29 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@G&M

That's a very telling quote considering Mr. Shiner is (was?) a member of Rob Ford's inner circle.

@Ryan G

I used to really like Tim Hortons coffee, but now there's this after taste to the sludge that turns me off. And it's not like I'm being a coffee snob that only drinks Starbucks... I really, really enjoy McDonald's coffee, for example. That after taste doesn't exist with McDonald's coffee.

So now that I've given up donuts and muffins, and I'm turned off by Tim's coffee, I don't visit Tim Horton's as often as I used to.

June 8, 2012 @ 11:32 AM

elvis

@CQ - as a father of two, the plastic bag ban doesn't affect us in any way. The 5 cent fee was nonsensical and a great way to increase the bottom line for corporations.

June 8, 2012 @ 11:35 AM

Ryan G

@Toronto Mike

I've heard that about the Dirty Clown's coffee, but since I worked there as a teenager I get the shakes when I get within a block of one.

June 8, 2012 @ 11:41 AM


Ryan G

@Toronto Mike.

That's a great story. Kinda reminds me of Krusty the clown.

I worked at the Zoo McDonald's and I had to actually dress up as one of the characters one day and greet kids as they came in at the front gate.

It was bad enough that I had to dress up, but I had to dress up as....are you ready for it?...the Professor.

Who?, you ask? Exactly. The Professor was a lesser McD's character from four hundrerd years ago, and not a single kid knew who I was, and promptly ignored and mocked me.

But it was better than slingin' burgers for a change.

June 8, 2012 @ 11:58 AM

Cambo

I'd like to know how this plastic bag ban will work at the malls.

For example, you decide to go to the mall to window shop. Instead you see some items on sale and decide to purchase. So you'll be given a paper bag? And if you decide to visit multiple stores, how are you going to carry that many paper bags? How are the manufacturers going to put "handles" in the paper?

Plastic bags have become a scape-goat for the enviro-freaks.

Surely Toronto council has bigger, more important issues to deal with than this.

June 8, 2012 @ 12:34 PM

Rosie

Someone said to me that the ban will cause more litter because people won't have plastic bags to hold their garbage. I think Toronto can manage to keep from becoming a plastic bag-free dystopia where citizens wildly throw trash in the streets because we don't know where else to put it.

I am going to try very hard to avoid talking to this person again in the future.

The plastic bag ban is good. We can't count on companies to make environmentally responsible choices on their own. Now we need to ban disposable coffee cups, bottled water and cigarettes.

Forza Italia! Go Devils!

@Ryan G: that story is HYSTERICAL! I remember the Professor. I would not have mocked you!

June 8, 2012 @ 12:43 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Cambo

I'm not sure a plastic bag helps in that particular scenario. You can fit a lot of stuff in those big Sears paper bags.

And remember, Ford got council to spend time on the plastic bag issue when he wanted to make them easier to get by removing the 5 cent fee. And it was one of his allies who introduced this idea.

We all just need to adjust.

June 8, 2012 @ 12:44 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan G

The Zoo McDonald's was legendary back in the day for being the only McDonald's around to sell hot dogs.

June 8, 2012 @ 12:46 PM

speysidephil

Yep Enviro Freaks at it again. So you want to ban plastic bottles, explain that to the thousands that would be out of a job because of your it's all about ME attitude. Where will you guys stop, when we are back to the dark ages.

June 8, 2012 @ 12:49 PM

Irvine

Fort McMurray banned plastic bags. Surely the sofistikated Toronto types can match or beat them

June 8, 2012 @ 12:49 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Irvine

Alberta: Always one step ahead.

June 8, 2012 @ 12:51 PM

Irvine

Well plastic is a petroleum product so if they can do it I'm sure Toronto can.

Try near 38 million barrels of oil every year to make these bags just in North America. Thats 14 days of oil consumption in Canada

June 8, 2012 @ 1:12 PM

Derrick

What about the small, clear, plastic bags for vegetables? If I now go to the farmer's market are the vendors now forbidden to give those out?

What about buying meat at the grocery store? Are the separate plastic bags for those products now band?

I buy those small plastic bags to pick up my dog's poo in the morning. Will those be banned as well?

I understand that large vendor's would donate a significant portion of the $0.05 they were paid for a bag to charities. Will that money no longer be donated to charities?

I thought the idea to use the bag fee to maintain the trees in the city was an excellent one. Why wasn't that option debated or investigated? It seems like the city lost an excellent opportunity to implement a voluntary tax to fund a service the entire city enjoys. Instead, I now have one less freedom in my day-to-day life.

I realize I'm complaining about a 1st world problem, but this bag ban doesn't appear to have been well thought out but our local government.

June 8, 2012 @ 1:37 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Derrick

To answer your questions: No, No and No.

This ban only applies to the bags you get at checkout, not the bags you get in the produce or meat departments. And of course you can still buy the little bags for stoopin' and scoopin'.

June 8, 2012 @ 1:39 PM

Derrick

I get a plastic bag from a farmer's market when i checkout. Why won't those be banned? What's the difference?

The bag ban is probably a good thing for society as a whole, but if we as citizens are looking to our government to outlaw things that are negative to society, why aren't we demanding that cigarettes be banned? Isn't the medical cost to treat the side effects of smoking greater than the taxes which are collected?

June 8, 2012 @ 2:01 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Derrick - I would assume not. If it were they would have banned smokes by now.

June 8, 2012 @ 2:33 PM

4x4 Time

We should put a ban on banning all bans.

June 8, 2012 @ 2:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@4x4 Time

We should ban the ban banning all bans.

June 8, 2012 @ 2:42 PM

519 Rob

I see this bag ban as quite the dilemna for you TO types (glad I am in the 519).
My problem would be, we use all of our old bags as kitchen trash bags. I know...I know...not the most environmental choice. But, once the bag ban hits the 519, I'll just replace the shopping bags with traditional 'kitchen catcher' garbage bags. So, what's the difference really?

June 8, 2012 @ 4:05 PM

Curmudgeon

This ban pisses me off. If I can't get plastic bags from the grocery store, what the hell am i supposed to stuff into that cupboard next to the fridge?!!

June 8, 2012 @ 4:05 PM

elvis

I'm a friend and fan of Mike's posts, regardless of my irrelevant posts. In this case however, Mike has allowed his love for David Miller and disdain for Rob Ford to get in the way.

The idea of requiring a corporation to charge a 'tax' that is not then in turn submitted to the city is a farce. There was nothing requiring the payment back to the city. Additionally, while some companies do donate the 'tax' to charity, many don't donate the funds to a charity supporting the environment.

It's possible to support Ford's motion to abolish the tax while concurrently supporting the motion to ban plastic bags (which is the smart and responsible thing to do). This is what should have happened in the first place.

Yet again, another cluster for the city and unfortunately for Mike, he's on the wrong side, however rare that may be.

June 8, 2012 @ 4:06 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@elvis

Why are you labelling me a David Miller supporter?

I was disappointed in him way back in 2006: http://www.torontomike.com/2006/11/david_miller_for_mayor_1.html

June 8, 2012 @ 4:15 PM

elvis

Because you stated you would support him!

"Three years later, I'm a little disappointed in Miller. Let's just say I expected more. I still back him this time around, but mainly because there isn't a strong enough alternative to secure my vote."

June 8, 2012 @ 4:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@elvis

Do you remember who he was running against in 2006? If John Tory had ran again, I'd have strongly considered voting for him. But in 2006, Miller was the best option, IMHO. And I shouldn't have said "supporter", I should have said "lover".

Can someone smart tell me why Rob Ford just did this: http://www.thestar.com/news/cityhallpolitics/article/1208498--mayor-rob-ford-votes-against-free-money-for-gang-prevention

"Rob Ford was the only member of council to vote against accepting $350,000 from the federal government for a year-long gang intervention project that will not cost the city anything."

I'm not trying to be an ass, I sincerely don't get it. Why would he vote against it? It's baffling. Ford lost this vote 33-1.

June 8, 2012 @ 4:22 PM

Blind Dave

@519 Rob

Good point. I was wondering if someone was going to mention re-using the bags for garbage bags. We do the same, and they cost a fair bit less than the name brand garbage bags. Anyway, I am far away from the big T.O., so the ban doesn't affect me anyway.

@Toronto Mike

I think I have turned a friend of mine onto The Beautiful South, so now you have at least two converts. :)

June 8, 2012 @ 4:35 PM

elvis

I stand behind my comments. Your readers can choose to take them as I wrote them or follow along with your diversion.

June 8, 2012 @ 4:40 PM

Cheryl

Well, as long as I can still get things like plastic garbage bags and green bin liners, the ban won't bother me. I get my groceries from Grocery Gateway and they come in boxes. As for cigarettes, let's ban them. I hate smokers. I never smoked and never will. It's bad for you anyway and to have to smell people who do it is bad. As for the cup, who cares. My coyotes are gone. I won't be interested in sports now until hockey starts again.

June 8, 2012 @ 4:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@elvis

You're more than welcome to disagree with me. Lots of people disagree with me on this one. But, lots agree with me, too. That's what makes the discussion fun.

But by 2006 I no longer "loved" David Miller, even though I did vote for him in 2006. I was disappointed in him.

But compared to this current mayor, it's no contest. Miller wins by a landslide. I'm still trying to figure out why Rob Ford voted against the gang prevention money today.

June 8, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

elvis

You should be an AHL referee because you're missing the obvious.

June 8, 2012 @ 4:53 PM

Claire

I often think John Tory was the best mayor we never had. I hope he considers running again one day.
And I heard (although probably an urban myth) that Tim's coffee has salt in it, hence the strange aftertaste.

June 8, 2012 @ 5:08 PM

elvis

To answer your question about the gang prevention money: Ford has come out numerous times in the past against these types of motions. He has always consistently voted no to this as believes no money is free and thinks it's not responsible put the city on the hook for something in the future it can't afford. The logic goes the $350,000 is free now but how can the city then continue that funding when it stops.
So this is not new or unique to Ford.
I would like to point out I’m not defending the logic or the vote, just answering the question.

June 8, 2012 @ 5:20 PM

andrew

NEVER USE BOXES FROM A GROCERY STORE to put your purchases into.

Cockroaches, twice & just lie beneath the folded sections.

Dispose of the grocery plastic bags as many other cities in North America have done it with success.

June 8, 2012 @ 6:19 PM

Tee

It is never an enlightened decision to use force to promote a behavior that you prefer.

Besides the UK government did a study that found plastic bags aren't worse than cotton bags and are far superior to paper. (http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/dispay.php?name=SCHO0711BUAN-E-E)

June 8, 2012 @ 6:36 PM

J9

@ Curmudgeon - make me laugh!

You know what is really hard to take? Go travelling in some US states (Virginia was one)...and they don't recycle at all! How hard it is to actually THROW OUT paper, glass, food waste and other items that we take for granted which can be diverted from landfills.

Bring on the plastic bag ban!

June 8, 2012 @ 8:27 PM

Rick C in Oakville

It's been touched on here, why not have put deposits on bottles, etc. We used to make candy money in the 60's by going around and collecting pop bottles with my wagon.

June 8, 2012 @ 8:49 PM

felix

We have that in Alberta. $0.10 for anything under 1L, $0.25 over 1L. Pop cans, milk cartons, water bottles, you name it.

June 8, 2012 @ 9:16 PM

Anonymous

Banning plastic bags... to quote The Great Humungous- "What a puny plan".

I'd like to know- in terms of total energy (manuf, ship, etc) used, how many plastic bags = one plastic infused cotton reusable bag (the type grocery stores try to sell you for $1)?
The cotton industry has a big pollution footprint.

How many times is the reusable bag used (for intended purpose, not used to store a bunch of crap in a closet at home as substitution for a box or other bag).

And recycling is completely market driven. If there is no market for the collected goods, it gets buried at the landfill.

The LCBO stopped using plastic, switched to paper (I think you can ask for plastic still). If I buy 4 single bottles of beer at the LCBO, they will put two bottles in single paper bags, and then all four bottles in one larger paper bag. In the past, they would have put them all into one plastic bag. The plastic bag wraps around the bottles and holds them tight together so they don't clang and break. I have one of those LCBO reusable bags- never have it with me when I go, so add that bag to the total energy when calculating the energy cost of the paper bags.

I'll just hop on down to Creative Bag and buy a carton of plastic bags, keep 'em in my trunk. 2-4 cents each by the carton.

June 8, 2012 @ 9:35 PM

CQ

Here's my math:
$350,000 now - for just this single year's extra social worker* or two.
In 55 years at a steady 2% interest - assuming that the debt financing (of just this little bit extra of 'free money') doesn't get paid in full beforehand.
As of 2067 = $1,040,105.90
At a steady 3%, and who doesn't remember our generational standards of 6-12% interest rates = $1,778,751.90
These, or rather either, estimated figures will most likely be completely as yet unpaid for, given that all earlier debt amounts still need to be 100% paid off first - and we can't manage better than five years of breakeven (with off-loaded bookkeeping) gov't spending throughout our own past 40 years!

* And probably its just for yet another Univ. graduated public pensioned dude and/or dudette living out of Upper Burlington or Cannington, visiting a Toronto Community Centre three times a week (during the daytime afterschool hours) and saying, "How bout that sports game, my buddy?"

June 9, 2012 @ 12:08 AM

elvis

@CQ - dude, you really need an editor.

June 9, 2012 @ 12:46 AM

Roshan

Form suggests Spain or Germany will win Euro2012. Holland, the team I support, is in good form too.

June 9, 2012 @ 12:59 AM

Rick C in Oakville

CQ your math is probably correct, didn't the province pull some "free" money off the table last year to support a couple of public health nurses for the bed bug intiative, which was falling back on the city to finance?

June 9, 2012 @ 8:50 AM

Cheryl

Well, I've never seen a cloth shopping bag. Anyway, Grocery Gateway always brings boxes and then the next time they come, they take the boxes back.

June 9, 2012 @ 9:20 AM

Irvine

Sorry but I find the argument against banning plastic bags baffling.

Plastic is a petroleum product & the production of all plastic requires oil. Aren't you the same people I see constantly whining about the high price of gasoline? Talk about a waste of resources, using a commodity (in short supply) to make a bag that's used for a whole 10 minutes.

As taken from the EIA website -- In 2006,1 about 331 million barrels of liquid petroleum gases (LPG) and natural gas liquids (NGL) were used to make plastic products in the plastic materials and resins industry in the United States, equal to about 4.6% of total U.S. petroleum consumption.

http://205.254.135.7/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=34&t=6

How much oil is 331 million barrels? It's about the same amount of oil used by the entire province of Ontario in an entire year. All that crude solely so you can carry home a loaf of bread for 10 minutes or have a plastic bottle filled with water.

And for the record those bags made of recycled plastic are just as stupid. Pick up your recycled plastic from the blue box, drive it to a sorting plant, put it on a rail car. Ship it to Vancouver, load it on a ship, send it to China. Have the Chinese manufacture it with power generated by low grade coal. Ship it back to Canada, put it back on the same train, then on a truck to your grocery store. Oh, and don't forget that ships use "bunker fuel". Bunker fuel is a high sulpher, low quality form of petroleum. To put it into perspective, a dozen or so of those large supertankers create more pollution in a year than all of the cars in the world.

What's the answer? Hemp. A durable product that grows almost anywhere & requires no herbicides or pesticides. Hemp was once the largest cash crop in North America. And no you can't smoke it.

June 9, 2012 @ 10:08 AM

CQ

Okay, it's Saturday and I checked the scoreboard at The Toronto Star for the Marlies' AHL Championship game.
Nope.
Not at their website's Sports page, Leafs page, nor Hockey subpage.
The game was carried live on LeafsTV and also CBS Sports Network this afternoon. It was played in downtown Toronto, only a streetcar ride from the 1 Yonge Street Toronto Star building.
Nothing. Excepting a vague Twitter feed side-column with Damien Cox.
But there is an article announcing $89 tickets for next season's Winter Classic.

June 9, 2012 @ 6:26 PM

Douglas

I'm no fan of Tim Hortons coffee and no Starbucks snob, either (I like their nickname "Charbucks"). Mind you, thanks to an Oakville neighbour, I know why I do not like Tim's coffee: I like black coffee; absolutely everything from the bean to cup is set up for "double double", the way the vast majority of Tim's coffee drinkers have theirs.

I do wonder what's in Tim's coffee, too. Why are so many "addicted" that they cannot have anything else? That's not what makes me wonder, though. In my previous car, I spilled a cup of black Second Cup coffee on the tan carpet. I called a friend, who did detailing work and asked if he would be able to get the stain out. He asked me if it was Tim Hortons coffee. When I said "no", he said he would be able to get the stain out. After over ten years of detailing, his experience was that, most of the time, he and his staff could not get Tim Hortons coffee stains out of automotive carpet. So just what is in that "coffee"???

June 9, 2012 @ 6:37 PM

elvis

Tim Horton's coffee is Mother Parkers coffee.

June 9, 2012 @ 7:29 PM

Rosie

GO DEVILS! THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN!

June 9, 2012 @ 10:40 PM

dale

Cleaning out basement today & I have over 300 vinyl records, which I will not dispose of.

Going through them:
TOP 10 songs on vinyl.

1. Comfortably Numb
2. With a Little Help From My Friends (Beatles version).
3. A Song for You.
4. Can't You See.
5. A Day in the Life.
6. Good Vibrations.
7. I Never Cry.
8. Waiting on a Friend.
9. Won't Get Fooled Again.
10. Ride Captain Ride.

Probably most of you have never heard of these songs.
Too Bad.

June 9, 2012 @ 11:45 PM

Corey

I'm not necessarily against banning plastic bags (you should check out this clever little "mocumentary" narrated by Jeremy Irons - only 4 minutes long, but worth it). The problem as I see it is that these "green" initiatives always have unintended consequences. For instance, cloth bags. Nevermind what the environmental impact is in producing them, what about the fact that every time you use them, bacteria from your grocery packaging, your hands, the cashier's hands, etc. are making their way into the reusable bag? They need to be washed, and should be washed frequently. So now suddenly your upping electricity usage, water consumption, and sending more detergent back into the lake. You might not think it's much, but multiply that by millions and it becomes significant. Same thing happened with the CFL bulb craze - the magic bullet for energy hogging incandescent bulbs, except you can't safely dispose of them! Toronto's composting initiative churning out toxic soil, and still something like 20% of recyclable material is ending up in landfills. We're buying into "feel good" programs instead of finding real solutions.

June 10, 2012 @ 8:38 AM

Cheryl

I heard of most of those songs anyway. So you don't have any Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, The Stampeders or Trooper. Those are great performers, especially Bob Seger and John Mellencamp. Vinyl records are good, but they are mmuch harder to care for than CDs, but I don't buy CDs anymore. I download my music from Itunes.

June 10, 2012 @ 9:30 AM

Rick C in Oakville

@Dale, all great classics, you can hear most of them on Q107 still.

June 10, 2012 @ 10:14 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@dale

I'm very familiar with 1, 2, 5, 6, 9... I'll bet most music fans are.

It's possible I know some of the others, just not by their title.

June 10, 2012 @ 10:23 AM

Irvine

@Corey

Excluding fruits & vegetables, the rest of your food is already in packaging so the effect of bacteria is null & void. When it comes to fruits or veggies, the simple answer is to wash them (which you should be anyway. The risks of salmonella from packaged veggies (like spinach, lettuce, carrots) is A LOT higher than the risk of it on some cotton bag. Exposing yourself to common bacteria is a good thing. It creates a healthy & strong immune system. Remember those shots you got as a kid? Well that was you being exposed to bacteria so your body builds up immunity.

As for other concerns

Power consumption: Use power from renewable energy. I've used wind power for the past 3 years. I pay an 10 cents a KW/HR unsubsidized. It adds maybe 3 bucks a month to my bill. Big deal.

Detergent: You worry about the detergent from washing all these bags? And yet you don't worry about the detergent residue in your clothes that spends 15 hours a day against your skin? There are lots of options for plant based detergent & they work just as well as normal soap. I trust Tide as much as I trust the cigarette companies to look out for my health.

As for the CFL bulbs, yes, filled with mercury & a brain dead plan on behalf of the government. Try LED lights. They last forever & use 1/10 of the power. Just don't use candles. They're made from petroleum products.

Plastic is a petroleum product & I think people need to experience the energy industry first hand. We all know about the oil sands & the concerns about fracking. I've been to Saudi Arabia. You want to see environmental destruction? Arab's use sea water to pressurize oil wells so oil flows faster. From this you get "water cut" which is the water mixed in with the crude. The water that is pushed back up to the surface (with the oil) is separated then dumped back into the environment. Oil slicks in the water & on the land. There are NO environmental regulations there. Or how about Nigeria? How many people & farm animals have been killed by spills? Or by sour gas? Or what about the people that protest in Nigeria. Let's talk assault, rape & even murder? Or how about Russia that produces 10 million barrels per day. I've no first hand experience there, but do you really believe the Russians care about the environment? Or the Venezuelans? Or the Mexicans?

That's where your plastic bags come from.

Every time I read some dude protesting a wind mill or solar panel, I laugh. It's an eye sore or it kills birds (and cats kill 10 million birds). If you think a wind farm is an eye sore, try moving next to a drilling rig. Or an open pit in the tar sands. Or better yet, buy a house next to the Ghawar field in Saudi. Keep a gas mask handy in case of a sour gas blowout. I think anyone that complains about a wind farm should have their front yard turned into a tailings pond.

In 2012, oil and gas is a necessary evil for this society. Making plastic bags out of that oil is not.

June 10, 2012 @ 10:54 AM

Anonymous

@Irvine. Dude, not everything has to turn into an argument. I said at the beginning that I'm not opposed to a plastic bag ban, so I don't need a lecture on the evils of the petroleum industry. I'm merely making a point that most people swallow these alternatives as some kind of panacea, and they need to do a lot more critical thinking. The detergent thing is a good example. Most people don't know about alternatives, and don't give regular washing a second thought. And saying the bacteria levels in reusable bags is negligible is just wrong.

"Nearly every bag examined for bacteria by researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University found whopping amounts of bugs. Coliform bacteria, suggesting raw-meat or uncooked-food contamination, was in half of the bags, and E. coli was found in 12 percent of the bags.

Running the bags through a washer or cleaning them by hand reduced bacteria levels to almost nothing, the study reported, but nearly all shoppers questioned said they do not regularly, if ever, wash their reusable bags."

June 10, 2012 @ 11:42 AM

Corey

Above post is mine.

June 10, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

Irvine

@Corey

Whose starting an argument? My comments on the energy industry were to everyone that reads the post, not just you. I've spent the past 5 years working in the energy business so I posted from a perspective few people have on this blog. Very few people actually give thought to the real carbon footprint of something. It's all about minimizing our impact.

As for the evidence that few people wash those bags, my response is "so what". People know enough to wash their clothes, bathe & vacuum their floors. Do they need a course to know to wash those bags? It's not up to the state to have to educate people on basic life skills.

But, on that note, I find concern about bacteria on cloth grocery bags almost laughable. You've a far higher chance of getting ecoli from a bag of salad or a poorly cooked hamburger. Or from using your coworkers mouse or keyboard.

To put it bluntly, I get tired of guys like Rob Ford who can't see the trees for the forest. When the original Model Ford was released a lot of folks claimed the horse and buggy was better. I'm sure when the computer was released there were a lot of people that espoused the merits of using a abacus & a typewriter. They're short sighted and lack the capacity to think beyond right now and their own little world. Progress and change is a dirty word.

And you can tell the idea makes sense because, beyond it's logic, the rednecks of this world hate it. Sometimes the job of governments is to drag its citizens forward whether they like it or not. Otherwise, we'd still be living in a time where women were barefoot & pregnant & your slave was out cutting the grass.

June 10, 2012 @ 1:20 PM

Dsve Williams

@Irvine
You are so lost yet again on Rob Ford. He is the most progressive mayor we have had since Art Egelton. If you think that a city with street cars rather than a city with a upgraded subway system is progress think again.
I find your jack of all trades assessment amusing to say the least.
You added that the state should not have to educate people on basic life skills, but you will allow the state to dictate free enterprise but essentailly eliminating an industry.
I can see that you clearly want big government to control your life, just as long as you agree with it, if government attempts something that you disagree with, you are quick to slag their stance.
Sir, keep up the posts as you are a good source of comic relief.

June 10, 2012 @ 3:00 PM

Corey

@Irvine - hmm. Maybe you genuinely weren't trying to start an argument. Maybe it's just your typical arrogant imparting of obvious information (e.g.: how vaccinations work) that I find offensive. Or your annoying ad hominems that usually form the basis of your responses (e.g.: there's no logical way you could conclude that I wasn't concerned about detergent residue on my clothing, yet you managed to). Now apparently you're a microbiologist who can state confidently where you're more likely to contact e. Coli., despite the fact that in your initial response you disputed the fact that bacteria would even likely be present.

June 10, 2012 @ 6:33 PM

McNulty

Irvine,

Could you please explain to me how you’re getting only wind power? If you are connected to the Alberta Grid, you cannot choose which power source you are consuming from. You only have a max capacity of about 865 MW of Wind Energy. That is Max Capacity, that means that the wind must fully be blowing. And the wind doesn’t always blow, what happens when their output drops, does your power go off?
I am just curious how you can claim you only use wind energy.

June 11, 2012 @ 7:36 AM

Paul

Beach community loses great supporter in Glenn Cochrane

Reporter, columnist had called Beach home for decades


Beach community loses great supporter in Glenn Cochrane. Media veteran and author Glenn Cochrane
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Cochrane wrote the book on The Beach
The Beach community has lost a cherished friend, staunch supporter and all-around great guy with the passing of beloved longtime resident Glenn Cochrane.
A native of Hamilton, Ontario who called the Beach home for several decades, Cochrane died the evening of Sunday, June 10, at Toronto East General Hospital. He is survived by his wife of 46-years, Jean, and two daughters.

Cochrane, who had a long career as both a television and print journalist, wrote a humour column for the Beach-Riverdale Mirror for a number of years.

Recently, he contributed to a bi-weekly community paper in the Beach community as well as authored a number of books.

His most recent project, which he co-wrote with his wife, was called The Beach: An Illustrated History from the Lake to Kingston Road. The Cochranes' 128-page book, which was launched in May 2009, was nominated for a 2010 Heritage Toronto Award.

In 2006, Cochrane received an award of merit from Heritage Toronto for his book, Glenn Cochrane's Toronto.

Cochrane, the 2002 Beach Citizen of the Year, was passionate about his community and often spoke out against inappropriate development.

"Since 1903, it's the people who have made this community what it is today. The people in the area have fought very hard to keep it so I wanted to make that very clear," Cochrane said during a May 2009 interview discussing his latest non-fiction book, The Beach: An illustrated History from the Lake to Kingston Road.

During that interview, Cochrane expressed genuine concern about residents fighting losing battles with well-heeled developers determined to impose their designs on the community. Nonetheless, he encouraged residents to remain vigilant in their resolve.

"Maintain a very clear vision of what this place is so that you know what to fight for," said Cochrane, who could be seen around the community on a regular basis giving of his time to numerous charitable organizations and important local causes.

Funeral plans for Glenn Cochrane have yet to be finalized.

June 11, 2012 @ 8:33 PM

CQ

Hey TOMike:
Check out the headlines at this afternoon's TheStar front webpage (Thurs. 14th): "Everything is Happening" for weekend events, and "Oh Baby!" for another Queen Elizabeth article.
Someone there is channeling a Bob Cole quote machine.

June 14, 2012 @ 3:22 PM

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