When it comes to plastic shopping bags, size matters. Or, more specifically, thickness matters.
According to the City of Montreal, thin plastic shopping bags (those less than 50 microns/0.05 millimetres thick) are the most hazardous to the environment, the incentive behind Montreal’s newly enacted “plastic bag ban.”
As an alternative, the City of Montreal is pushing grocers and other businesses to dole out thicker plastic bags.
The Quebec-based recycling advocacy group found that thin plastic bags are actually better for the environment, having the smallest environmental impact, reports CBC.
For thick plastic bags to be environmentally more sound than the thin variety, they would need to be used by consumers at least three different times.
Reusable shopping bags are the preferred route over any type of plastic bag, says Recyc-Quebec.
The City of Montreal, however, is still saying they made the right decision in banning thin, single-use plastic bags.
Thin plastic bags are more likely to tear then end up on a tree or in the water, said Jean-François Parenteau, who is in charge of the environment for the municipal executive committee.
"It'll be spring soon and we'll see, below heaps of snow, bags all over the place,” said Parenteau, reported by CBC.