Amidst a spate of events that occurred at the onset of the new year, the municipal corporation of Montreal has banned the use of plastic bags, in process, becoming the first major city in Canada to take such a proactive measure. According to reports, the ban covers plastic bags that are 50 microns thick and biodegradable bags that decompose in heat & sunlight. It has come to notice that the authorities have permitted the use of thin plastic bags in retail stores for transporting vegetables & fruits to the cash register. Some of the key officials of the Municipality have stated that this strategic decision to ban plastic bags has been based on their hazardous effects on the marine life & global ecosystems. According to city environmentalists, out of 2 billion bags, only 14% are recycled in a year, while the rest often add towards the landfills.As per the reliable sources, the ban on the use of plastic bags is effective from 1st January 2018, with the traders offering a six-month notice period to conform with the new regulations of the city. It has been confirmed that post 5th June 2018, the retailers will have to pay fines of nearly 1000 Canadian dollars for a single customer and approximately 2000 Canadian dollars for a firm in case of non-compliance. The municipal authorities of Montreal are of the view that the ban will promote the use of reusable bags among the city residents.
With Montreal becoming the first city to ban plastic bags for shopping, it is most likely that the other cities will follow suit very soon. Recently, the municipal corporation of Victoria has also stated its plan to ban the use of plastic bags from July 2018, while Vancouver has been thinking about banning plastic usage in the near future.