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Montreal to Ban Single-Use Containers and Packaging by 2020

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Mayor Valérie Plante announced the city’s plans at a news conference this week

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Montrealers may soon see the last of Styrofoam and plastic takeout containers. On Wednesday at a news conference at city hall, mayor Valérie Plante announced plans to phase out single-use packaging by the spring of 2020, with public consultations set to take place over the next year before the eventual bylaw comes into effect.

“It breaks my heart when you walk downtown, and you see that all the garbage [bins] are filled with those single-use plastic containers. We need to do something,” Plante told CBC News. “We feel the population is there; we feel many business owners are ready to make this shift, and we want to support them.”

Items that will likely fall under the new ban include straws, utensils, containers, cups, bags and grocery store trays and packaging. Plante also said the plan will be phased in gradually, to allow businesses time to adjust.

A number of cities and countries have already taken steps to rid their cities of single-use packaging, with Kenya home to one of the world’s harshest: anyone found to be importing, producing or selling plastic bags could face up to four years in prison, or fines between $19,000 and $38,000. France became the first country to ban plastic plates, cups and utensils back in 2016, with plans to have the single-use items phased out by 2020.

The ban is part of Plante’s larger vision for Montreal — as an official C40 city — to become carbon neutral by 2050.

  • Montreal ‘going to war’ against single-use plastic and styrofoam food containers [CBC News]
  • Montreal seeks to ban single-use plastic items as of 2020 [Montreal Gazette]
  • ‘Time is running out and we need to act’: Montreal wants to ban single-use plastics by 2020 [Global News]