The City of Montreal first took steps by banning single-use plastic bags in retail stores, grocery and supermarkets with a bylaw that went into full effect in June of 2018 – and now they are taking it one step further. Mayor Valerie Plante and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough councilor and Executive Committee member Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, today announced steps towards a bylaw that would limit the use of single-use items in the city and its territories – with a goal to ‘leave a greener and more resilient city for future generations’. The ban would include styrofoam cups and take-away containers, polystyrene trays for meat, fish, fruits or vegetables as well as plastic straws and utensils. It is expected to be tabled in the spring of 2020.
Banning single-use items
“The days of postponing decisions to protect the environment because they ‘jostle’ our habits are over. Time is running out and we must act now. By taking strong actions like this one, we are making sure to do our part to bequeath a healthy city to the generations of tomorrow,” said Mayor Plante in a press release. Pollution from single-use items, particularly plastic, is a major environmental issue. While the use of these articles is ‘short-lived’, their decomposition can take several hundred years, which has major consequences for the environment.
“We want to quickly achieve results in reducing waste in the Montreal area. Not only does this have a direct impact on citizens, but also on our environment and on our public finances. The gesture we are making today allows us to reach (the level of) ‘champion’ cities like Vancouver, which has already adopted such regulations,” Lavigne Lalonde concluded.
Montreal has clearly joined the global movement. Other cities that have been leading the way include Vancouver in Canada, as well as San Francisco, Seattle and Boston in the US and other countries like the United Kingdom, Australia and even Kenya and Chile.