Toronto decided against a plastic bag ban that was to take affect Jan. 1.

The city council voted against the measure that would have banned retail stores from offering single-use plastic carryout bags.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) applauded the decision in a news release. CFIG President John Scott said the decision to scrap the proposal “validates our view that this bag ban bylaw was probably illegal and with no prior consultation or deliberations, set a dangerous precedent for how measures that have such a profound impact on both businesses and consumers in the city, would be brought forward at city council.”

Scott added that voluntary measures have reduced the volume of bags in circulation. The province of Ontario has an agreement with the major retail associations that has cut plastic bag use by nearly 60 percent in three years. The program has been replicated in British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta.