Sustainability | Quebec

Montreal updates single-use plastics regulations

August 23, 2021

Following discussions in which RCC participated last spring, and with the adoption of the Municipal Waste Management Plan on August 27, 2020, the City of Montreal has unveiled the regulatory details regarding its desire to reduce single-use plastics. Below you will find the information we have so far.

RCC will provide official details and final regulations as they become available. The adoption is expected to be done in late August or early September 2021.

Regulation Prohibiting the Distribution of Certain Single-Use Plastics

Scope of the Regulations:

  • Territory:
    • City of Montreal;
  • Regulated bodies
    • Establishments offering a catering service
    • Establishments that package food at the place of distribution to the consumer

Outside the scope of application:

  • The regulations do not apply to the distribution of single-use cutlery or disposable packaging items to consumers located on the territory of the City of Montreal in the following contexts:
    • Items sold on store shelves, outside of catering or food packaging service (e.g., plastic spoons sold in stores);
    • For food items packaged before its arrival at the place of distribution to the consumer (e.g., to preserve and protect produce)

Items not covered in the context of distribution:

  • A single-use item found in an establishment emanating from food packaged outside of that establishment;
  • A tray for wrapping meat or fish;
  • A utensil, on request, made from non-degradable plastic bearing the identification codes # 1, # 2, # 3, # 4, # 5 and # 7 for the consumption of food outside of the establishment;
  • A single-use article made of cardboard with a non-degradable or degradable plastic coating (coated cardboard).
  • Protective cardboard sleeves for hot beverage cups
  • Cup lids for hot or cold drinks

For more details and for the complete list of items covered by this by-law, you can consult the technical document (in French) made public by the City of Montreal.

Infractions:

  • For a first offense, a fine of $400 to $2,000;
  • For a repeat offense, a fine of $500 to $4,000

Effective Date:

  • 18 months after its adoption (around March 1, 2023 – to be confirmed)

The details of the announcement are available (in french) in the City of Montreal’s press release (in French).

Reminder: The Government of Canada is proposing to ban six single-use plastic items, including checkout bags, straws, cutlery, stir sticks, six-pack rings, and catering items made from problematic plastics. The 2020 discussion paper is available online. We expect the draft regulations to be released in the fall for consultation with stakeholders, but this timeline may be affected by the current election.

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