The city of Rosemère is doing away with all plastic bags.

Dimitris Ilias

The city of Rosemère is doing away with all plastic bags. Effective April 22, 2021, Bylaw 929 banning them will come into force, which means that Rosemère businesses will now be prohibited from distributing, selling or offering certain types of shopping bags on or after that date. All plastic shopping bags, regardless of their thickness, are included in this ban. All residents are therefore being advised to get into the good habit (if this is not yet the case) of opting for reusable bags when shopping in the Town! Rosemère adopted this environmental measure in February 2021, in keeping with the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal’s Action plan for plastic bags—an initiative aimed at reducing the amount of waste materials at the source. A number of municipalities around the world have made a commitment to collectively fight against the proliferation of plastic bags and, more generally, against all plastic materials abandoned in nature, given their impact on terrestrial and marine ecosystems and the problems related to their decomposition and recycling.
In May and June 2021 an information campaign and reminder of the effective date of the Bylaw will start in the city. That means that there will be visits by the Green Patrol of the Town of Rosemère’s Permits and Inspections Department to make businesses aware of this new bylaw and answer questions.
At the present time, between 1.4 and 2.7 billion shopping bags, mainly plastic ones, are distributed every year in Québec. Only 14% of these bags are recycled. The purpose of banning single-use plastic bags is to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the environment.
Impact of plastic bags:
Lost plastic bags are a visual nuisance.
They have significant impacts on terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
They can take up to 1,000* years to decompose.
Their production requires petroleum products as well as water and generates greenhouse gases.
The purpose of the Rosemère Bylaw is to promote the principle of reducing, at source, the waste materials generated by shopping bags. “Reduction at source” therefore means cutting down on the volume of waste materials generated by the production of shopping bags, both in terms of resource consumption (oil, water, plastic) and environmental impacts (production of greenhouse gases, etc.).
What the bylaw prohibits:
In retail businesses, it is prohibited to distribute the following shopping bags, regardless of their thickness: conventional plastic bags (bag made of petroleum-based materials offered, at checkout, to carry purchases); compostable bags (bags that appear to be made of plastic) biodegradable plastic bags (bag composed of polyethylene molecules that can be decomposed by the action of microorganisms); oxo-degradable or oxo-fragmentable plastic bags (bags made of petroleum-derived plastic with oxidizing additives that promote its decomposition into smaller pieces) and conventional paper bags (bags made exclusively of cellulose fibres)
Acceptable bags / Exemptions


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reusable bags (bags specifically designed to be reused several times as a shopping bag made of recycled material, natural fibers, polyester or polypropylene);
recycled paper bags (bags made of all recycled paper or containing a minimum of 40% post-consumer fibre, non-waxed, recyclable or compostable);
plastic packaging bags used for hygienic purposes to contain food products such as meat, poultry, fish or bulk products
products already packaged by an industrial process
garment bags provided by a dry cleaning business
bags containing advertising material for door-to-door distribution
bags for packaging tires