A group that represents communities across Newfoundland and Labrador is hoping a motion to ban single-use plastic bags will be tabled soon in the House of Assembly.

'In the 70s we didn't have plastic bags to bring things home from the stores. We used paper and other methods.' - Tony Keats

Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) has been pushing for a provincial bag ban for years, saying towns and cities in the province are fed up with the impact of bags on the environment and on tourism.

At its recent annual general meeting in Corner Brook, MNL members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bag ban, with Torbay Mayor Craig Scott leading the charge.

Tony Keats Dover

Municipalities NL President Tony Keats wants people to write their MHAs and put pressure on to get the debate going in the House of Assembly. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

"We all know that a ban is necessary. We don't need plastic bags in our system," MNL President Tony Keats told the St. John's Morning Show.

"We can pressure government and try and make this a success with all the residents sending something to their MHAs to say that the ban is necessary. I think the more work that we do, there will be a faster result."

'We know we can live without plastic'

There are dissenting voices.

Just this week the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) said governments shouldn't be telling small businesses what they can and can't do.

Plastic bag forest

Scenes like this could be avoided if single-use plastic bags were banned, says Municipalities NL. (CBC)

Keats said he understands CFIB has to advocate for its membership, but that it's time for the province to be progressive and join other regions that have successfully banned single-use plastic bags.

He said when a ban is debated in the House of Assembly, MNL will be there to help educate the public on what they can do to replace plastic bags in their lives.

"We've got to hit the ground running, and do whatever is necessary to clean up our environment," he said.

"Back in the 70s we didn't have plastic bags to bring things home from the stores. We used paper and other methods, so we know we can live without plastic."

With files from St. John's Morning Show