Montreal Will Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags in 2018

Two years from now, you will no longer see plastic bags littering the streets of Montreal.

After extensive analysis and reflection, Mayor Denis Coderre has announced that the city will be banning single-use plastic bags as of Jan. 1, 2018.

This time frame allows consumers and the retail industry nearly two years to adjust before the ban kicks in.

“Lightweight bags, which are used by the billions, are volatile and represent a clear environmental concern,” said Coderre.

The ban is specific to lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags, specifically ones that are less than 50 microns (or 0.05 millimetres) thick, as well as bags that are oxo-degradable, oxo-fragmentable, oxo-biodegradable and biodegradable, CBC reports.

There will be one exception to the ban: plastic bags for fresh produce and meat and medication will remain in use for hygienic reasons.

Mayor Coderre believes that Montreal’s green initiative will become a model for other major cities to follow.

Currently Vancouver is in talks of banning single-use plastic bags and six other Canadian cities have already made the transition as well, including:

-Leaf Rapids, Man.
-Thompson, Man.
-Huntingdon, Que.
-Deux-Montagnes, Que.
-Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality, Alta.
-Brossard, Que. 

Mayor Coderre’s announcement shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as the city’s environmental committee held public hearings last year and came to the conclusion that plastic bags should be banned.

This has us wondering if Toronto will ever look into banning plastic bags again. The city first attempted to ban single-use plastic bags in 2012, but gave up after facing legal challenges.