Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and, starting September 27, they have fully banned all forms of single-use plastic bags from businesses including restaurants, grocery stores, and more.
The law was accepted last September for grocery stores but has since expanded to all types of business with fines ranging from $200 to $1,000 for a first infraction and $300 to $2,000 for subsequent infractions.
There is an exception for the thin bags at grocery stores that allows produce to be held separately.
“Prohibiting plastic bags demonstrates our administration’s strong commitment to accelerating Montreal’s ecological transition and to embody an environmental leadership plan, locally and internationally,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.
Only about 16% of single-use bags are recycled while the rest end up in the environment, where it can take up to 1,000 years for them to decompose.
Marie-Andrée Mauger, executive committee member responsible for ecological transition and the environment, said modifying the bylaw is part of the plan to make Montreal a zero-waste city by 2030.
“The majority of landfills will be full within 10 years,” she said. “Reducing at the source is crucial to reach our goal and we invite all retailers to follow suit and to encourage their customers to shop with reusable bags — an economical and ecological practice.”
By March grocery stores and restaurants will be banned from having trays (except for those holding meat and fish), plates, cups or glasses, and their covers, stir sticks, straws, and utensils.
Inspired to Act?
DONATE: The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit committed to cleaning plastic from the ocean. Consider donating if you want to support.
SUPPORT: When you go shopping bring a reusable bag. When out in nature clean up plastic litter. It may not feel like a lot but every little bit counts.