Plastic bag ban public consultations begin in Montreal

The City of Montreal is beginning its public consultation today into whether to ban plastic shopping bags.

Mayor Denis Coderre has said he wants to see plastic bags outlawed

Single-use plastic grocery bags may be a thing of the past after a public consultation set to begin in May. (CBC)

The City of Montreal is beginning public consultations today on whether or not to ban plastic shopping bags.

Mayor Denis Coderre has said publicly that he wants to follow California's lead and have them banned, but says a consultation will allow everyone involved to voice their concerns.

CBC's Daybreak spoke with two people who plan on taking part of the consultation process.

"I think it's really important to ban plastic bags because it's a huge source of pollution and it's a huge drain of municipal resources to look after the recycling and disposal of the bags," said Alex Tyrell, leader of the Quebec Green Party.

He said Montreal would be following in the footsteps of others cities, including Austin, Seattle, and San Francisco.

"From what we've heard, the people who live in those cities haven't had any dramatically negative consequences," he said.

Tyrell said there are other ways to carry groceries home, including using cardboard boxes.

But Pierre Dubois, a senior consultant for sustainable development with the Canadian Plastics Association, said banning plastic bags is a simple solution to a complex problem.

He said there might be more effective ways to curb plastic pollution in the city.

Toronto tried to ban plastic bags on Jan. 1, 2013, but backed down after a public outcry and a legal challenge.

The City of Montreal's committee responsible for the public consultation will hear delegations on the issue beginning tonight.