Effective January 1, 2021, shops and restaurants in Casselman will no longer be allowed to give customers single-use plastic shopping bags or drinking straws.

“We’re going to ban them,” said Mayor Daniel Lafleur.

A report first explored the idea of banning the polluting plastics in 2018 but council decided to go ahead and make it official when it last met on February 11.  Council will approve a by-law enacting the ban before the end of this year.

Lafleur said the municipality has notified the community of the coming ban and local businesses are being given the next 10 months to liquidate their existing supply of plastic bags.

“It’s not a surprise to them,” said Lafleur.

The Metro, No Frills, and Giant Tiger stores in Casselman already charge customers five cents each per plastic bag, which is company policy.

Elsewhere, other chains are also eliminating or reducing disposable plastics.  Sobeys, which owns Foodland and IGA stores, is discontinuing plastic bags at IGA in March and there are plans for Foodland to follow.

Québec drugstore chain Familiprix stopped selling single-use plastic water bottles of 750 millilitres or less in January.

Lafleur said fast-food restaurant chains in Casselman are also preparing to stop providing plastic drinking straws by the beginning of 2021.

He noted that the local A&W, St-Hubert Express, and Harvey’s locations have already switched to cardboard drinking straws.

Lafleur said he has not heard any complaints about the decision to ban plastic shopping bags and drinking straws in Casselman.

He said the municipality needs to be responsible, especially when the large GFL landfill nearby is planning to expand and is sometimes the source of controversy.

“We’re complaining of waste and odour at GFL, we have to do our part,” said Lafleur.