Edmonton’s reusable bag fees will double on Canada Day
Edmonton’s reusable bag fees will double on Canada Day

Beginning on Canada Day, Edmontonians can expect to pay higher prices for paper and reusable bags while shopping.

On Monday, the price for paper bags in Edmonton will rise from 15 cents to 25 cents. The price for reusable bags will double, from $1 to $2. The previous prices were implemented last Canada Day and lasted the year before this planned change.

In a YouTube video, the City of Edmonton outlined the changes, stating that around 75% of shoppers now bring their own bags. 

“If you forget your bags, the best choice for the environment and your wallet is to purchase a paper bag instead of a new reusable bag if you can,” said the city.

The city said that bags can be multi-functional.

“When you’re done with the bag, you can use it to hold garbage or food scraps or recycle it. So make a plan to remember your bags when you’re out shopping or picking up takeout,” the city’s video added.

The city claimed that over the last few years, Edmonton has discarded nearly 250,000 bags daily. Producing, shipping, and disposing of each bag creates emissions equivalent to driving 25 kilometres, according to the city of Edmonton, justifying its price increase.

While Edmonton has remained committed to its single-use bylaw, other cities have had to scrap the idea amid backlash from residents. Calgary repealed the bylaw in May after paying the price in a public approval downfall. 

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith had previously said she did not support the single-use items bylaw.

She tasked her Minister of Municipal Affairs with investigating whether either city had violated the Municipal Government Act, after saying that she disagreed with both of their decisions.

“I think there’s a little bit of ideology getting ahead of common sense here,” said Smith.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek was recently revealed to be one of the few political leaders in Canada less popular than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Her plummeting public approval rating, which reached 26% in June, was attributed to negative public reactions to the single-use bag bylaw, blanket rezoning, and her handling of the water crisis.

According to a Leger poll conducted in May, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi may be faring no better.

Over two-thirds, 67%, of Edmontonians said that Edmonton is heading in the wrong direction.

When asked about levels of satisfaction with Sohi’s quality of work, only 10% of Edmontonians gave him a “good” review, a score between 8-10. He had 32% who gave him a “poor” review, a score of 0-2. 

Although the poll did not discuss the single-use plastics bylaw, it did ask Edmontonians who they planned to vote for.

Only 16% chose Sohi. Forty-three percent said that they would vote for “someone else.”

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