Don't forget to grab your reusable bags on your way out the door -- Montreal's ban on plastic bags is starting Tuesday.

The bylaw, which affects all 19 boroughs of the City of Montreal, will apply to retail stores and restaurants, including those offering take-out and home delivery.

"We have a responsibility to make concrete and courageous decisions to address the climate crisis now," said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante. "The plastic bag ban is a testament to our administration's firm commitment to accelerate Montreal's ecological transition and provide environmental leadership, both locally and internationally."

According to city officials, only 16 per cent of plastic bags are actually recovered, leaving the rest to pollute the environment and take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

"In addition to being an eyesore, lost plastic bags significantly impact terrestrial and marine ecosystems," the city states. "Plastic films also contaminate the quality of paper bales in sorting centres. Banning them will greatly improve the quality of sorted paper and allow for better local recycling in our Quebec mills."

In addition to the plastic bag ban, eight single-use plastic items will be prohibited in Montreal starting in March 2023, whether compostable or not, in food stores and restaurants.

This includes trays (except for meat or fish products), plates, containers and their lids, cups or glasses and their lids, stirrers, straws and utensils.

This is part of the Plante administration's environmental platform, which has committed to becoming a zero-waste city by 2030 under the slogan, "We only have one city to live in."

"We know that the use of landfills has major limitations, as the BAPE report reminded us," said Marie-Andrée Mauger, executive committee member responsible for the ecological transition and the environment. "Reduction at the source is, therefore, one of the major keys to achieving our goal. We invite all merchants to follow suit and encourage their customers to shop with reusable bags, which is an economical and ecological practice."

The bylaw comes into effect after being adopted at a September 2021 city council meeting as part of the City of Montreal's 2020-2025 residual materials management master plan.

Montreal is also preparing to host the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in December.

"The fight against climate change is everyone's business and we hope that this strong gesture will help other municipalities to follow suit," said Plante.