New regulations are holding resellers and vendors responsibility for packaging and printed paper entering the residential stream through consumer purchases. At the COPA Knowledge and Business Conference last month, Catherine Abel, stakeholder relations and communications at Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance (CSSA), discussed extended producer responsibility (EPR) and CSSA’s provincial packaging and printed paper stewardship programs.
Abel says having too many stewardship organizations for businesses to deal with and a lack of consistency across jurisdictions pushed stewards to ask for a harmonized approach across paper, print and packaging (PPP) programs.
The CSSA was launched in 2014 to streamline all packaging and printed paper program operations throughout Canada, and is currently responsible for consolidating administrative requirements, simplifying reporting and payment requirements, improving recycling rates and the range of materials that can be recycled, and providing consistency for what can be recycled nationwide.
The harmonized approach provides stewards with several benefits, including a national material list, guidebook, standards and benchmarks, a national voluntary steward policy and a national voice on EPR harmonization.
Is your business an obligated steward?
To determine if you are an obligated steward under current regulations, resellers and vendors must ask three crucial questions:
- Does your organization or company have residency in a province where packaging and printed paper stewardship obligations exist?
- Does your organization or company supply any packaging and printed paper into the province where you have residency and steward obligations exist?
- Is your organization or company responsible for the designated packaging and printed paper as the brand owner, first importer, or franchisor in the province where you have residency?
If your business does not have residency in a province with stewardship obligations but does supply obligated materials to consumers in that province, you can register as a voluntary steward.
Do you produce or sell obligated materials?
Obligated material includes packaging included with goods bought by residential consumers and only material that will be managed through the residential waste stream needs to be reported. Obligated printed paper encompasses newspapers, brochures, receipts, catalogues, etc., and paper for general use includes, notebooks, posters, calendars, greeting cards, paper used for printing or graphics, etc.
To determine whether you are responsible for obligated material supplied to consumers, consider if you can reach the consumer through a variety of channels, directly or indirectly.
Keep an eye out—there is new legislation on the horizon for Ontario and Nova Scotia. New waste management legislation is expected for Ontario this fall, and Nova Scotia is anticipating regulations to be released in the fall, with the program serving as a template for the Maritimes provinces. Alberta is not expected to introduce regulation for PPP prior to 2016.
For more information, or tools to assist with reporting; go to www.cssalliance.ca/resources-list.