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Montreal’s ban on plastic shopping bags comes into effect

The ban covers the distribution of lightweight plastic bags with a thickness of less than 50 microns as well as biodegradable bags, which contain an additive that causes them to decompose in heat and light.


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January 2, 2018 by Canadian Plastics

On Jan. 1, Montreal became the first major Canadian city to implement a ban on plastic bags.

The ban covers the distribution of lightweight plastic bags with a thickness of less than 50 microns as well as biodegradable bags, which contain an additive that causes them to decompose in heat and light.

There is an exception for the thin bags that are used in grocery stores to transport fruit and vegetables to the cash register or to wrap up meat.

Denis Coderre, Montreal’s mayor at the time, announced the ban in February 2016, and city council adopted the resolution in August.

Montreal officials say the ban is intended to encourage people to move away from single-use products and to adopt reuseable bags. Thicker plastic bags, paper bags and cardboard boxes will also be allowed.

The measure came into effect on Jan.1, but merchants will have a six-month grace period to comply with the new rules.

After June 5, 2018, they could face fines of up to $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a corporation for a first offence.


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