In Its War On Plastic, Montreal Faces An Angry Giant

Montreal is proposing to ban plastic water bottles in the city but it is facing some major pushback from mega-corporations.

Three major corporations are challenging the movement that would prohibit plastic water bottles in Montreal, Canada.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre implied last month the city might consider banning plastic bottles in wake of its motion to ban plastic bags by the year 2018.

The possible ban has prompted the Canadian Beverage Association, which represents 60 beverage brands including Nestlé, Coke and Pepsi, to sign a Quebec registry of lobbyists in March.

The document claims the bottles used by the coalition are safe and convenient for customers and banning them would restrict consumers’ right to choose. In addition, the document contains an appeal to reconsider the banning of plastic bottles, stating that bottles are 100 percent recyclable through Quebec.

They say that but even so, each year, over 700 million plastic bottles end up in Quebec landfills.

Read More: A Mexican Startup Is Eradicating Poverty With Garbage

Very few cities in the world have out-right banned plastic water bottles. A small Australian town, Bundanoon, was the first in line to ban plastic bottles in 2009. Concord, Massachusetts, passed a ban in 2013 and water is now sold in paper bags. San Francisco and Hamburg, Germany, has prohibited the sale of plastic water bottles but only in city buildings.

If Montreal passes the bill, the city with a population of 1.5 million will be the biggest urban district to ban plastic bottles entirely.

Quebec Bottled Water Association was quick to speak against the measure, claiming water isn’t the only thing in plastic bottle—juices and other drinks also use them. Instead they have proposed to increase recycling or launch a bottle-return programme.

“Why ban just the water bottles?” asked Dimitri Fraeys, the association’s vice president of innovation and economic affairs. “If I put myself in the shoes of tourists who come to Montreal and there are no water bottles — what will they drink?”

However, advocates agree the ban is a good idea, in light of the fact that by 2050, plastic garbage in the ocean will outweigh the fish. It will probably be a few years before the ban goes fully into effect.

Related: Most Plastic Bottles Recycled In 8 Hours

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Wikimedia

View Comments

Recommended For You