Four months into the 5 cents plastic bag tax, one city councillor is demanding answers on the bylaw's success.
Michael Walker wants to know how the city is measuring its success, how it's being enforced and if any fines have been issued to businesses for breaking it. His questions are on the agenda for the two-day city council meeting set to start today.
"This thing has been going on a long time and it's now spreading out into the province and I want to know, are we carrying out on the other side?" Walker said.
Estimates are that Torontonians use 460 million plastic bags a year, which cost the city $1 million annually to process even though the bags have been recyclable since December of last year.
Retailers who don't charge for the bags could face a $100 to $300 fine, city officials say.
The program, which is expected to put $10 million annually into retailers' pockets because the city doesn't collect the fee, was to be reviewed after one year.
But Walker worries that, like other environmental bylaws, there's no enforcement.
He likened the bag tax to the city's anti-idling bylaw.
"There's not enforcement, just a twice a year blitz ... that's the height of hypocrisy," he said. "It's not a very enviable record for a politician if they pass all this stuff and then they don't carry through."
Toronto Mayor David Miller used the City of Toronto Act, which allows the municipality to protect the environment, to pass the bylaw.