No more plastic bags starting in 2020?

The City of Sherbrooke would ban single-use plastic bags in retail stores. According to the schedule announced on Monday, the new regulation could be adopted this fall to come into effect in 2020, probably April 22 for Earth Day.
The proposed regulation would “prohibit the distribution of certain shopping bags in commercial activities in order to reduce the environmental impact”.

Prohibited bags would be plastic shopping bags 0.1 mm and less thick, oxodegradable bags, biodegradable bags and compostable bags. In particular, this regulation does not regulate bags containing advertising material, those used for a liquid medicine dispensed at the counter of a pharmacy or those used exclusively for transporting food to the cash register of a business. Future provisions may, however, be applicable.

Boxes of over-the-counter bags for residential or institutional activities are not covered by the regulation.

The fine for a first offense, for a corporation, would vary between $ 400 and $ 2,000.

The City of Sherbrooke would seek to harmonize its bylaws with those adopted by the Val-Saint-François RCM and draw inspiration from the one adopted in Brossard.

First source of contamination

Among the problems observed in Sherbrooke, it is noted that the instruction to bag bags is mostly not followed in recyclable materials. It is added that non-compostable plastic bags are the primary source of organic matter contamination.

“The City will work closely with Commerce Sherbrooke to target merchants’ needs. There will be information evenings with shopkeepers and citizens, “commented Environment Committee Chair Karine Godbout.

“This is a file that the public has often told us about. We demonstrate that on a small scale, we are able to influence the fight against climate change, “Vincent Boutin reacts.

Évelyne Beaudin, for her part, invites her colleagues to consider a variety of strategies, for example by raising taxes and royalties on single-use products.

According to data provided by the City, in Quebec, more than one billion single-use plastic bags are used each year. Only 16% of these bags are recovered. Those that are recycled often cause conveyor stops and they interfere with sorting “by degrading by contamination the quality and price of other bales of recycled materials”.

A study commissioned by Recyc-Québec in 2017 established that a reusable bag, other than cotton, is a good option if it is used 35 to 75 times. The introduction in 2017 of the Quebec Voluntary Code of Practice on the use of shopping bags has resulted in a 52% reduction in the annual use of plastic bags.

This new regulation is a first step in a process of reflection on the unique objects of use such as plastic bags, but also straws, cups, utensils and styrofoam containers.

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