Plastic bags: What you need to know about legislation

Last updated September 27, 2022
Reading time: 1 min

Montréal bans the distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags in retail outlets and restaurants in all its boroughs.

An overview of existing regulations

Regulations prohibit the distribution of plastic shopping bags of any thickness, whether they are made of degradable (oxodegradable, oxofragmentable, biodegradable or compostable) or non-degradable plastic. This applies to retail businesses such as clothing stores, shoe stores, hardware stores, grocery stores, but also to restaurants, including those offering take-out and home delivery.


The following types of shopping bags are not covered by the regulation:

  • Bags for transporting foods — such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, bulk treats, prepared foods, meat, fish, bread and dairy products — to the checkout counter of a business, or for protecting them from direct contact with other items;
  • Reusable shopping bags;
  • Recyclable paper shopping bags.

Alternatives for merchants and restaurateurs

  • Reuse containers and packaging in which the products were delivered to package clients’ goods at the checkout or for home delivery.
  • Offer customer incentives to use their own multiple use shopping bags (reusable), such as discounts or a fee for providing paper shopping bags.
  • Offer multiple use shopping bags for a fee or deposit (customers can borrow a multiple use bag and return it for a refund before it is resold).
  • Offer paper shopping bags only upon request. In this case, choose shopping bags made from recycled content and certified sustainable fibres.

Any questions? Contact Affaires Montréal