Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 Ville de Brossard - ban on plastic shopping bags (By-Law 351)

Q: When did Brossard's municipal council adopt the by-law on the distribution of plastic shopping bags?
A: The Municipal Council of Brossard adopted By-Law 351 (REG-351) during its Regular Meeting of February 16, 2016. The by-law aims to prohibit the distribution of plastic shopping bags in stores throughout the city.
Q: Why did the municipal council decide to act now?
A: The Council adopted a strategic plan, an Environmental Policy and a 2015-2017 Environmental Action Plan that aims to reduce the production of waste materials at the source. Brossard's Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development (ESDCC) and the Municipal Council gave a mandate to the Urban Planning department in spring 2015 to evaluate the possibility of a ban on the distribution of plastic grocery bags throughout the territory. This subject was discussed at the ESDCC on three occasions in 2015. In addition, in a survey of residents conducted in spring 2015, 63% of respondents were in favour of banning plastic shopping bags. 
Q: When will By-Law 351 take effect?
A: By-Law 351 will take effect on September 1, 2016. Therefore, as of this date, retailers may no longer offer, sell, distribute or make available to consumers any shopping bag made of plastic or compostable materials as part of a business transaction. However, even though By-Law 351 is scheduled to take effect September 1st, 2016, retailers and clients are invited to change their habits now and bring their own reusable bags for any purchases or shopping trips within the limits of Brossard.
Q: Why didn't By-Law 351 take effect immediately but only in September?
A: A transition period and an awareness campaign with the slogan “Yes, I have my bag!” and the hashtag #ouijaimonsac are taking place until the month of September to ensure the population and retailers are both adequately informed. This period will allow merchants to gradually adapt to the new by-law. 

Q: What types of plastic grocery bags will be prohibited?
A: This By-Law applies to single-use plastic shopping bags and compostable shopping bags distributed by merchants having a place of business within the city limits of Brossard as part of a business transaction.
What types of bags will still be permitted?
A: The following types of bags will still be allowed:
  • Reusable shopping bags*
  • Paper shopping bags;
  • Bags for packaging bulk products, such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, candies, flour and grain products;
  • Products already packaged using an industrial process;
  • Clothing bags distributed by a business offering dry cleaning services;
  • Bags containing advertising material and distributed door-to-door (e.g. the Publisac).
*reusable shopping bags: bags which open at the top, specifically designed for multiple uses and of a thickness greater than 0.1 mm. They are usually made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester or textiles.
Q: Will the bags used for distribution of advertising circulars (e.g. the Publisac) also be prohibited?
A: For the moment, only single-use shopping bags, used in a business transaction such as the purchase of consumer goods, are covered by By-Law 351. 
Q: Can you give examples of solutions that comply with the terms of the By-Law?
A: There are several possible options that comply with the by-law, including:
  • Don't distribute bags for goods already packaged or in boxes;
  • Encourage your customers to bring their own reusable bags with them;
  • Reuse boxes obtained through business purchasing operations, such as deliveries received;
  • Distribute or sell compliant reusable bags or paper bags during transactions that actually require the use of a bag.
Considering the prime objective of the By-Law, which is reduction at the source, the city encourages merchants to aim to reduce the number of bags distributed and not systematically distribute a bag with each transaction, even if it complies with the By-Law.
Q: Does the by-law provide for penalties for merchants who do not comply with the By-Law??
A: Yes, the by-law 351 provides for sanctions. However, in adopting this by-law, the Municipal Council wishes to give merchants adequate time to adapt to the new regulations. To this end, an awareness campaign will be conducted.
Q: At what point could fines be imposed?
A: From the implementation date of By-Law 351, on September 1st, 2016
Q: How much will the fines cost?
A: Any merchant who contravenes any provision of this by-law is guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a minimum fine of $100. The maximum fine is $1,000 for a physical person, and $2,000 for a legal person. In the case of a recurrence, these maximum amounts are respectively $2,000 and $4,000.
Q: Will the city need to hire additional inspectors to enforce the regulations?
A: No, the city has the staff required to apply By-Law 351. 
Q: Could changes be made to By-Law 351?
A: The Municipal Council is firmly committed to banning the distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags within its its territory. However, once the By-Law is in effect, it is still possible to make adjustments to it.