MONTREAL – Mayor Denis Coderre wants to bury plastic bag use once and for all.
He doesn’t think there is any room for the product in our increasingly green city.
”In 2015, do we still need plastic bags,” he asked rhetorically at the city’s executive committee meeting Wednesday morning.
Coderre is calling for a public consultation meeting in May to measure the environmental, economic and social impact of banning plastic bags.
”Personally, I have a problem with plastic bags,” he said.
It’s unclear how a ban would be applied and whether it would have blanket coverage on all plastic bag use by individuals and commercial businesses.
Many grocery stores charge shoppers for plastic bags if customers don’t bring their own and the SAQ no longer provides plastic bags at any of its outlets in Quebec.
The problem of plastic bag waste has severe environmental consequences.
It’s estimated eight million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year.
A large portion of that is plastic bags.
”I think we have too many of these plastic bags improperly disposed and not recycled,” Dr. Joe Schwarcz of McGill University told Global News.
But he adds banning bags outright is not be realistic or economically prudent.
”One has to way the pluses against the minuses and factor in things like jobs because many, many plastic bags are made in Canada,” he said.
Coderre promises to be open to all opinions when the consultation hearing begin.
”It’s open, it’s transparent. Everybody will have the capacity to have their say. And we will pick it up from there. That’s it,” he said.