The Alberta town of Fort McMurray has launched a ban of single-use plastic shopping bags.
The ban will include plastic, paper and certain types of biodegradable shopping bags.
Under the Single-Use Shopping Bag Bylaw, retailers are not allowed to distribute any biodegradable plastic or paper bags used for transporting goods from retail outlets.
The city council approved the ban in December 2009 as part of its goal to cut waste stream for landfill by 50 per cent, by 2012. Plastic bags won't be purged from the city entirely, however; bags from fast-food restaurants, pharmacies, liquor stores and bags used to purchase bulk items like produce are exempt.
Similar bag bylaws have passed elsewhere in Canada, including the city of Toronto, where retailers started charging a five-cent plastic bag fee in 2009. Leaf Rapids, in Manitoba, was the first Canadian municipality to ban single-use plastic bags in 2007.