03/03/2016 08:07 EST | Updated 03/04/2017 00:12 EST

Plastics industry to meet with Denis Coderre today on bag ban

Plastics industry representatives hope to convince Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre that his plan to ban single-use plastic bags by Jan. 1, 2018, is a bad idea.

Joe Hruska, a sustainability consultant for the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, called the ban "really bad environmental policy" and said the meeting will be the industry's first opportunity to make its case to Coderre.

"This is still not law in Montreal and we do have a chance to inform and educate the city and hopefully get them to change their position on this," he said.

Montreal's ban applies to lightweight plastic shopping bags, specifically ones that are less than 50 microns (or 0.05 millimetres) thick, as well as bags that are oxo-degradable, oxo-fragmentable, oxo-biodegradable and biodegradable.

​Certain bags are exempt from the ban for hygienic reasons, such as small plastic bags used for fresh vegetables or medication.

Ban bad for environment, plastics lobby group says

Coderre's announcement comes after the city's environmental committee recommended banning the bags in December.

Hruska said rather than reducing the amount of plastic in the environment, Montreal's ban will have the opposite effect.

He says the bags that Montreal wants to prohibit are re-used for a variety of household purposes like waste disposal and the ban will force Montrealers go out and buy thicker plastic bags like kitchen catchers.

"You will not get rid of plastic bags," Hruska said. "You're going to end up with more plastic in the system."