Retailers urge Brossard to back down on plastic bag ban

Click to play video: 'No more plastic bag ban'
No more plastic bag ban
WATCH ABOVE: The Retail Council of Canada lashed out at the South Shore city of Brossard, claiming its plastic bag ban isn't actually good for the environment. Global's Anne Leclair reports – Feb 8, 2016

BROSSARD – The retail industry is calling on the south shore municipality of Brossard to suspend its plans to ban plastic bags.

The appeal comes just one day before retail giant Wal-Mart Canada is set to start charging consumers five cents per bag, a move many retailers prefer over banning them altogether.

“We think there’s no need for a ban at this point because we are following in the ‘three R’s’ (reduce, reuse, recycle) principle,” said Nathalie St-Pierre, the vice-president of sustainability at the Retail Council of Canada.

“Overall, there’s about 93 per cent of the bags that are either reused or recycled.”

The City of Brossard is expected to rubber stamp a bylaw banning thin, disposable plastic bags on Feb. 16, before moving to a complete ban sometime this summer.

The industry argued retailers have already done their part in reducing the use of plastic bags, either by charging customers or using other incentives such as selling reusable bags.

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“You have to understand that the solutions, the alternatives are very limited.  If you look at paper bags for instance, they’re much more damageable to the environment,” St-Pierre insisted.

The City of Brossard refused Global News’ request for an interview, but said in a statement it has no plans to back down.

“Brossard’s municipal council remains committed to banning the distribution of plastic grocery and shopping bags on its territory,” the statement said.

City council is expected to hold a vote on the issue on Feb. 16.

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