MONTREAL - A Montreal municipal bylaw banning the use of single-use plastic items comes into effect today, with glasses, stir sticks, straws and utensils among the items that will be prohibited.
The ban also applies to polystyrene or compostable plastic products, whether used on-site in restaurants or for takeout, with the only exception being trays for raw meat and fish.
READ: Foodservice operators debut new takeout ware amid phase in of single use plastics ban
The bylaw was passed 18 months ago and covers the 19 boroughs that make up the city of Montreal, with officials estimating some 8,400 businesses will be affected.
There are certain exceptions, including for non-profit groups like charities or organizations that deliver meals to vulnerable people.
Inspectors will be able to give a warning during the first visit, but from the second violation, merchants are exposed to fines ranging from $400 to $4,000.
Marie-Andree Mauger, the city's executive committee member in charge of ecological transition, says the city will show some leniency to allow merchants to clear their older stock.
Mauger told reporters last week the city's only landfill will reach capacity in 2029, so there is no choice but to reduce waste at the source.
"We must respect the limits of ecosystems,'' Mauger said. "If everyone lived like us in Montreal, it would take four planets to support the rate at which we consume resources.''