Ban the Publisac? Montreal considers doing away with the flyers
Do you love them or do you hate them?
Publisacs -- plastic bags filled with flyers that are left at our front doors – may soon have to contend with the City of Montreal. It's looking into whether to ban the promotional papers.
The notion is part of a more significant issue of plastic waste, explained executive committee member Jean-Francois Parenteau.
“Not only for the Publisac, specifically, but for any other product with plastic like straws, bags, plastic bottles,” he said.
The city has already banned single-use plastic bags used by retailers.
According to Transcontinental, the company that owns Publisac, more than 700,000 of them are delivered each week in Montreal.
It says about 87 per cent of the population reads them – and also notes that its contents are fully recyclable.
The bag and the flyers have to be separated, however, and recycling hasn't been an easy answer for Canadian municipalities, ever since China tightened its regulations around purchasing recycling.
“It was a wake-up call to change the operation for the recycling, for Montreal, but for any other city,” said Parenteau.
The opposition at city hall welcomes the consultation, but says the social and economic impacts need to be looked at: for some, weekly flyers are an essential way to save money.
“Some people do value having the specials and having the coupons to be able to live their lives,” said opposition leader Lionel Perez.
Montrealers who don't want Publisacs can get a no-flyer sticker from their borough. If you have a sticker and you still receive flyers in the mail, you can report it to 311. Companies can be fined between $200 and $500 for the infraction.
The consultations are set to be held in the New Year.