The City of Montreal says it is working on a bylaw to ban single-use plastics by the spring of 2020.
The ban would include plastic straws and cutlery, plastic and Styrofoam glasses and Styrofoam packaging, such as the kind you get in supermarkets with your meat and vegetables.
The city says two-thirds of our garbage is filled with such items and only 11 per cent of it is recycled — the rest ends up in our water system.
Mayor Valérie Plante says other major cities in North America such as Vancouver, New York and San Francisco have already moved in that direction.
“The time when we put off decisions to protect the environment because they upset our daily habits is over,” Plante said. “Time is running out and we need to act now.”
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Some businesses in Montreal have also made the switch to reusable cutlery and dishes.
Plante said she believes Montreal has the capacity and the responsibility to lead the way in Quebec.
“We want to show the way, we want to support other cities, other municipalities,” Plante said in a press conference. “I want to welcome big companies that offer those single-use plastic containers all the time to think differently.”
Plante added that the city is committed to developing a strategy to help companies that would be affected by the bylaw.
Montreal says the ban fits with the city’s C40 goal to become zero waste by 2030.
C40 is a conglomeration of 40 major cities around the world working towards greener and more sustainable practices to fight climate change.
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— With files from The Canadian Press