Coke, Pepsi and Nestlé are among the corporations ready to take on a possible ban of plastic water bottles in Montreal.
Mayor Denis Coderre hinted last month that the city will target banning plastic bottles following its move to ban plastic bags by 2018.
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The Canadian Beverage Association, which represents more than 60 brands including Pepsi, Coke and Nestlé, signed on to Quebec's registry of lobbyists in early March, Radio-Canada has learned.
Coderre responded today, telling reporters that Montrealers were having a healthy debate over the role of plastic products.
"We spoke about plastic bags and now we're onto plastic bottles," Coderre said. "The reality of plastic in our environment is a problem."
In a document submtted to the lobby registry on March 8, the association wrote that bottles are safe and convenient for consumers, and that banning them would restrict their right to choose.
"We want the City of Montreal to reject the proposal to ban water bottles on its territory," the association wrote, adding the bottles are 100 per cent recyclable across Quebec.
'It was a surprise for us'
Coderre has yet to announce a timeline or concrete measures for a plastic bottle ban, but said in February it is the next step.
The idea caught the association off guard, but it has asked for a meeting with the city.
"It was a surprise for us," association spokesperson Martin-Pierre Pelletier said. "We want to understand the details."
The Association des embouteilleurs d'eau du Québec (AEEQ), which represents water-bottler Eska, has also called on the city to consult corporations before making a final decision.
Coderre said he was taking an inclusive approach to the issue.
"I'm not dogmatic, I'm very pragmatic in the approach," Coderre said. "It's a cultural shift."