Beaconsfield will ban single-use plastic bags on April 1, 2020, but Mayor Georges Bourelle says the ban is not an April Fool’s joke. 

The city recently adopted a bylaw which prohibits the “distribution of certain single-use shopping bags in retail stores located in Beaconsfield.”

The ban will take effect on April 1, 2020 — but Mayor Georges Bourelle says the ban is not an April Fool’s joke.

“By adopting this bylaw, we demonstrate our commitment to fight climate change,” he said.

However, not all plastics bags are banned.

“This prohibition specifically targets oxo-degradable, oxo-fragmentable, biodegradable and traditional plastic bags less than 50 microns thick,” according to the city.

The city also plans to conduct a campaign to help raise awareness among residents and retailers in the coming months.

The city of Montreal passed a similar bylaw in 2016. However, Montreal granted a grace period for compliance until June 5, 2018.

The Provigo store in Baie-D’Urfé recently took the initiative and stopped issuing plastic bags to customers this past summer.

Last year, Beaconsfield said it would study the issue of single-use plastic bags. It passed the bylaw last month.

“We are proud to follow this initiative already adopted by other municipalities,” said Bourelle. “We all came to the same conclusion that it was time to move ahead for the sake of the environment.”

“Reusable bags are the most ubiquitous items known by all, but all too often forgotten.”

The city of Beaconsfield said “Plastic bags are harmful to the environment because their production requires petroleum products and large amounts of water and generates greenhouse gases.  Moreover, they have significant impact on wildlife and plants in addition to being a visual nuisance.”

The mayor said Beaconsfield does not have a lot of commercial areas where plastic bags are issued.

“We don’t have a lot of retail outlets so it would primarily be at the Beaconsfield Shopping Centre and a couple of strip malls.” But he added the ban “doesn’t apply to restaurants who are already using bags for takeout.”

Bourelle said he expects local retailers to comply with bylaw. After a grace period, fines will levied to scofflaws, he added.

He said the public is also ready for an adjustment in terms of carrying home goods from the store.

“There is no reason why people can’t make the adjustment,” he said. “It’s been done elsewhere, in other municipalities.

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