Banning Plastic Bags

Effective April 22, 2021, Bylaw 929 banning plastic bags will come into force, which means that Rosemère retail 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!

The Town of 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.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the adoption of this bylaw in 2020, Town Council intends to extend this bylaw to restaurants, as of January 1, 2022, and to the following plastics items: straws, stir sticks (for coffee), can rings, utensils and food containers that are difficult to recycle.

Action schedule

January 18, 2021
Notice of motion tabled

February 8, 2021
Bylaw adopted

March/April 2021
Information and awareness campaign

April 1, 2021
Information kit for retail businesses available for download on this web page

April 22, 2021
Effective date of Bylaw 929. Retail businesses no longer allowed to offer, sell, distribute or make available to consumers either single-use or compostable plastic bags as part of a commercial transaction.

May and June 2021
Information campaign and reminder of effective date of the Bylaw. Visits by the Green Patrol of the Town of Rosemère’s Permits and Inspections Department to make retail businesses aware of this new bylaw and answer questions.

Why ban single-use plastic bags?

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 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.).

*Source of data: Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal

Summary of Bylaw

Scope of the Bylaw

  • Transactions at the checkout counter for retail businesses

Prohibited bags

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)
  • conventional paper bags (bags made exclusively of cellulose fibres)

Acceptable bags / Exemptions

  • 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

Solutions for complying with the Bylaw

  • Encourage your customers to bring reusable bags.
  • Don't provide bags for goods already packaged.
  • Reuse the boxes you receive when getting your supplies and orders.
  • Distribute or sell compliant reusable bags only when absolutely necessary.

An information campaign and kit for businesses

To encourage all residents and businesses to cooperate, the Town of Rosemère has launched an information and awareness campaign with A small step toward positive change! as the theme.

Businesses first

Businesses play a key role in encouraging environmentally responsible habits among their customers, which is why the Town made a toolkit available to download.

In order for us to better communicate with you and for you to stay informed, please subscribe, if you haven't already done so, to:

Communication toolkit for businesses

If you have any problems downloading the items in the kit, we will email them to you. Please email us at

Information | Town of Rosemère

Permits and Inspections Service | 450-621-3500, ext. 3328 |

Information | CCITB-AGAR

Alexandra Simard, AGAR liaison officer | 450-435-8228, ext. 230 |

The Town of Rosemère has chosen to go even further in the goal of reducing the amount of plastic disposed of, by banning all single-use plastic bags, regardless of their thickness. In fact, although some bags are thicker, they are rarely used more than once, yet their production involves greater energy and more plastic consumption than that of a traditional single-use bag.

For residents

A number of criteria can be considered in order to make a well-informed choice. It is difficult to find a bag that meets all the criteria, but if it meets a few, then it is a good choice.

  • Durable (reuse guaranteed and long-lasting)
  • Resistant (solid)
  • Washable
  • Recyclable
  • Manufactured responsibly (e.g. local, fair trade, energy efficient)

The best choice, however, is the bag you already own!

For businesses

A reusable bag is a bag that a person gets and keeps for shopping and that is strong enough to be used several times. It must have been made to be reusable.

Here are a few criteria to consider when choosing a reusable bag to offer to your customers:

  • Durable (reuse guaranteed and long-lasting)
  • Resistant (solid)
  • Washable
  • Recyclable
  • Manufactured responsibly (e.g. local, fair trade, energy efficient)

A few examples of authorized bags, for information purposes only:

  • Woven plastic bags
  • Non-woven bags
  • Fabric bags
  • Mesh bags

Yes, the Bylaw banning plastic bags provides for fines for offenders. However, the guiding principle of these regulations is to have everyone work together to achieve a societal objective!

Starting now, residents are invited to use reusable bags in all types of businesses they go to.

For spontaneous purchases, make sure you always have one or more on hand. In fact, some very compact reusable bags fit easily into a handbag, school bag, computer bag, coat pocket, etc. Otherwise, remember to always keep reusable bags in the car.

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