TORONTO, Ont. – The city’s plastic ban bag, scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013, has been quashed in a confidential motion from Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong.

Council met for about 20 minutes Wednesday morning to discuss confidential legal advice from the city solicitor about the bylaw, before shutting down the ban in a 38-7 vote.

“I’m optimistic that we will finally clean up this mess, create clarity and move forward,” Minnan-Wong told Council.

“The fact is that we went against sound staff advice and tried to implement something that wasn’t right,” Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said.

Meanwhile, Councillor Gord Perks – a supporter of the ban – is angry with the decision.

“We use billions, billions of plastic bags for under 10 minutes each,” he said. “Those plastic bags come from a resource that will never be renewed – natural gas – that’s how you make low-density polyethyline. It will never be renewed.”

“We find ourselves in a position where plastic bags are going to be used unregulated in the City of Toronto. Congratulations Mr. Mayor, you won. That’s all that matters to you, I know.”

Councillor Michael Layton was also upset, saying he’s embarrassed over the lack of leadership.

“We’re at midterm, folks. It’s not too late to start making fact-based decisions that will build a better Toronto for future Torontonians, and not following us down a leaderless course with no vision,” he told council.

Councillor David Shiner, who triggered the bag ban in the first place, said he never heard the outcry Mayor Rob Ford said followed the ban’s announcement.

“I went to public meetings and saw thousands of people. You know what they said? ‘It’s going to make it difficult for me.’ I understand that, but you know what? It’s the right thing,” he said.

The ban was expected to face legal challenges from at least two organizations. Minnan-Wong expects the organizations will be satisfied with the decision.

Holyday said council will revisit the discussion on the ban in June following public consultation, something which wasn’t held prior to the original ban proposal and had City Council facing harsh criticism.

Council will also consult with retailers, the plastics industry and environmental groups.