Shopkeepers in the city fear that the ban will affect the spending pattern of their customers.
The mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, reported that the ban on single-use plastic bags will begin on January 1, 2018. He also explained that this decision was made based on some recommendations made by the city’s Environmental Protection Committee last December.
Some of the recommendations of the Environment Committee include:
– To make an exception for hygienic bags used for handling food and medicine
– That the City of Montreal work together with the Government of Quebec to establish industry standards to ensure that the new bags are recyclable
– Communication plan to prepare residents and businesses for the transition
– Encourage the reduction of plastic water bottles, disposable plates and dishes
– In order to achieve this, Montreal will introduce a regulation.
The idea of banning single-use plastic bags was first presented by Mayor Coderre a little over a year ago.
“Personally, I think we should ban the use of plastic bags, but we need to consult well so that all actors in society can fully contribute,” said Coderre at the time.
During this time, a public consultation was actually carried out. Although many have expressed support for the measure, arguing that it would help reduce pollution, not everyone believes it is the right step.
Shopkeepers in the city fear that the ban will affect the spending pattern of their customers. François Vincent, provincial director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said he was disappointed the sector released a poll that said “54% of our members were against a total ban.”
Retailers fear that without access to plastic bags, consumers will refrain from buying more than one or two items in small shops when they return home. Then they’ll be more likely to shop at big box stores on the weekend, The Montreal Gazette reports.
But for Coderre, the measure is “positive for improving sustainable development.”
The same measure was recently approved in Brossard, where it will take effect on September 1 of this year.