Beaconsfield, Que. becomes latest municipality to ban single-use plastic bags

A shopper leaves a grocery store carrying his groceries in plastic bags in Brossard, Que. on August 30, 2016. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Beaconsfield announced Tuesday that it has adopted a bylaw banning certain types of single-use plastic bags.

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle told Global News the new bylaw will come into effect April 1 and will apply to retail merchants and stores.

The ban targets plastics that are less than 50 microns thick, including oxo-degradable, oxo-fragmentable, biodegradable and traditional plastic bags.

READ MORE: ‘Time is running out and we need to act’: Montreal wants to ban single-use plastics by 2020

The ban comes into effect on April 1, 2020.

“We’re going to have a communication plan that we’re going to put in place to make sure all the merchants, the retail stores, in Beaconsfield are well aware of it,” Bourelle said.

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“That’s why we are giving ample time for everyone to make an adjustment.”

The mayor said the new bylaw was put in place for environmental reasons.

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“Plastic bags are harmful to the environment because their production requires petroleum products and large amounts of water and generates greenhouse gases,” the city said in a news release.

Additionally, they can have a negative impact on wildlife, on top of being an eyesore.

“We end up finding plastic bags all over the place,” Bourelle said.

READ MORE: No more plastic bags in Montreal; first major Canadian city to implement ban

While the exact details of how the bylaw will be applied have yet to be worked out, Bourelle said merchants will be given a grace period.

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“There will be warnings initially if somebody contravenes the bylaw, but eventually there will also be fines,” he said.

Bourelle says he isn’t anticipating any pushback on the new bylaw.

“Everybody understands if we want to be more conscious of our environment and for ways to improve the environment, we have to do things to adapt to this new reality.”

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