Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said he wouldn't support a move to follow Toronto city council's decision to ban plastic bags.

On Wednesday the city council of Canada's largest city voted by a narrow margin to ban retailers from handing out or selling the plastic carriers.

The move was met with indignation from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who had been pushing his council to eliminate the five-cent charge on plastic bags. Ford called the decision "ludicrous."

Watson said he believes charging for the bags is the more sensible middle ground.

"I wouldn't support [a ban]," said Watson. "People's habits and attitudes are changing by companies charging five cents a bag. That kind of program seems more effective... so leave well enough alone."

Watson said people reuse the bags for everything from garbage to pet clean-up, tasks that can't be replicated by a cloth bag.

Councillors divided

Councillor Steve Desroches said he wouldn't support a ban either, and said plastic bags aren't a huge issue in the region's landfill.

"I don't think that's how we're going to deal with the landfill issue and I don't think there would be wide spread support for that kind of ban here in the city of Ottawa," said Desroches.

Councillor Diane Holmes, however, said the city should consider the idea.

"I think most people think it’s not a good idea to keep using plastic bags," said Holmes.

Watson said he won't be bringing the issue forward any time soon and adds he's not even sure council has the legal authority to ban the bags.