*Update - December 9, 2015

The mayors of the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) passed a resolution to ban single-use plastic bags in their respective territories in April 2018 at the latest. The Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) represents 82 cities in the Montreal area.

*Update - December 9, 2015

The City of Brossard announced that it will adopt a regulation at the begining of 2016 which will ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags in shops inside the city limits. See below for RCC's next steps.

Member Update / Impact:

The City of Montreal’s Commission on Water, Environment, Sustainability and Large Parks released today its recommendations following public consultations held last spring. We should note that these are only recommendations and any final decision has to be voted by the City Council for this to become effective. It won’t come as a surprise that the Commission is recommending a ban on single use plastic bags under 50 microns thick.

The recommendations are available here in French only.

Here is a summary of all the recommendations proposed by the Commission:

  • Ban single use plastic bags under 50 microns thick for all retail activities in the City of Montreal
  • Provide a 2-year transition period after the ban’s adoption by City Council before it takes effect, which could be on Earth’s Day 2018 (April 22, 2018)
  • Ban all oxo-degradable, oxo-biodegradable, oxo-fragmentable and biodegradable single use bags
  • Provide exemptions on thin plastic bags used for food products such as meat, fish, produce and bread as well as for newsprints, dry cleaners’ poly bags and bags for medications.
  • Ensure ban implementation will be monitored by city boroughs
  • Promote the use of reusable bags
  • Possibility of adding voluntary fees on reusable or recyclable plastic or paper bags
  • Develop design standards for bags with certification programs.
  • Apply Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to manufacturers and importers of reusable bags
  • Release a communication strategy by April 2016
  • Promote reduction of single use plastic water bottles as well as polystyrene utensils and plates

The Commission also recommends that the City of Montreal makes representations with other administrations to ensure that this framework is applied in the Greater Montreal Area and everywhere else in Quebec.

What RCC Did/Next Steps:

RCC has already issued a press release noting how disappointed we are with the Commission’s recommendations. The release is available here (in French only).

Next steps :

  • RCC has already requested to meet with the Mayor of Montreal, Mr. Denis Coderre as well as with Mr. Réal Ménard who is responsible of environment, sustainability and large parks in the City’s executive committee.
  • RCC will also make sure that our voice is heard in the coming weeks along with our industry partners.
  • RCC will liaise with the City of Brossard in order to avoid a ban on single-use plastic bags on the territory of the municipality.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Philippe Cantin, Manager Environment at:  [email protected], or by phone, at 514-982-0267, ext. 336.

You can also contact Nathalie St-Pierre, Vice President, Sustainability and Québec via email [email protected], or by phone at 514-982-0267, ext. 331.