03/04/2015 01:59 EST | Updated 05/04/2015 05:59 EDT

To ban or not to ban: 6 facts about plastic bags

As the City of Montreal announces a consultation on the potential ban of single-use plastic grocery bags, here are some facts to consider:

1. Canadians take home 55 million plastic bags every week, according to a 2008 Parliament of Canada report. That works out to almost 3-billion each year. 

2. Countries such as Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand have banned plastic bags because of flooding caused when the bags clog up storm sewers.

3. A plastic bag ban in California has been suspended pending a referendum on the subject in November 2016. The bag lobby gathered enough signatures to launch the referendum.

4. A study at the University of British Columbia found 93 per cent of beached northern fulmars, a migratory bird related to the albatross, had stomachs full of plastic.

5. Scientists at the University of Illinois have found it’s possible to convert plastic bags into diesel and natural gas.

6. Leaf Rapids, a town in northwest Manitoba, was the first Canadian municipality to ban single-use plastic bags back in 2007.