City rejects anti-Publi-Sac petition; says it's a borough issue

The Plante administration is rejecting a petition project aimed at limiting the distribution of Publi-Sacs, saying it's up to the boroughs to address the issue.

The petition was brought forward by Montrealer Charles Montpetit, who argued that the plastic bags filled with fliers, restaurant menus and other advertising material are a nuisance, and harmful to the environment. Montpetit's petition suggests people should be able to opt out of getting them.

Montpetit suggested that since the city has already banned thin plastic bags in stores for environmental reasons, the city should act on the hundreds of thousands of Publi-Sac bags left on people's doorsteps every week.

He also argued that Publi-Sacs generate about 500 tons of material to recycle every week — more than the city's recycling centres can handle.

In November, executive committee president, and South West borough mayor, Benoit Dorais hinted at possibly moving to restrict or even ban the Publi-Sacs, but added that the company that distributes the bags, Transcontinental, also distributes a number of weekly newspapers.

He also said at the time a study group would be formed to examine the environmental and financial costs of the bags.