Thicker, reusable plastic bags are no more environmentally friendly than their thinner prototypes banned by the City of Montreal, according to a recent study.
The study, conducted by Recyc-Quebec, found that thinner plastic bags have a lower impact on the environment. In comparison, thicker bags need to be used three to six more times in order to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable than the thinner bags.
The findings come as Montreal’s plastic bag ban came into effect on January 1, 2018.
The ban applies specifically to lightweight plastic bags (or those under 0.05 mm thick), as well as oxo-degradable, oxo-fragmentable, oxo-biodegradable, and biodegradable bags.
The small plastic bags, such as those used to bag fresh produce or medications, will not be banned due to health and safety reasons.
Individuals who fail to abide by the law will be fined anywhere between $200 and $1000, while businesses will face a fine between $400 and $4000.