MONTREAL – Picking up a bottle of water after a hockey game or tennis match could soon become a thing of the past.
The City of Montreal is considering a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles in the near future.
Mayor Denis Coderre eluded to this earlier in the week, but it has since created a firestorm of backlash.
The plastic water bottle industry, distributors, suppliers and consumers could all be the big losers.
“Children use them, we use them in the cars for when we’re travelling. I would rather have a plastic bottle for my child than a glass one to be honest,” one shopper told Global News.
The plastic water bottle industry is a billion dollar business in North America.
In Canada alone, consumption of plastic water bottles increased by more than 100 per cent between 1999 and 2009, according to the Canadian Department of Agriculture.
The problem is a lot of these bottles end up in landfills or waterways, which is why some support the idea of a comprehensive ban.
“Just too much plastic on the planet,” another shopper told Global News.
Banning plastic water bottles would cut into the sales of grocery stores and limit options for consumers.
Better educating the public about proper waste management is the solution, according to Bruno Ménard, an IGA vice-president in Saint-Lambert.
“Do more on the recycling side rather than just banning them altogether,” he told Global News.
The Quebec water bottle association claims more than 70 per cent of all plastic water bottles are recycled.
The mayor of Dorval argued it’s imperative to give shoppers the option to buy bottled water – especially if there’s a water main break or if a boil water advisory comes into effect.
“There is a need, we cannot just eliminate them,” Edgar Rouleau told Global News.
The research director of the Montreal Economic Institute claims banning the bottle is bad economics.
“It’s not the right way to go, neither for the consumer nor the plastic industry in Montreal,” said Youri Chassin.
Public consultations will likely be held before any ban comes law.
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