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Big Things Happening on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) front in BC!

February saw some major movement on the EPR front. Early in the month, MMBC’s team of consultants from Glenda Gies & Associates released two important reports.

-Current System for Managing Residential Packaging and Printed Paper in British Columbia; and

-Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Design Options

The first report basically explains what residential recycling in BC looks like right now. It summarizes which municipalities receive curbside vs. depot collection, which have single-stream vs. multi-stream, which materials each city accepts in Blue Boxes etc. The second one gives us the first, high-level glimpse at what the new EPR program for packaging and paper might look like. It sets out a variety of different options for how the financing on the new program might work: using contracts, incentives, direct delivery, or some combination thereof.

(both reports are available in the links below):

Two weeks after releasing the reports, MMBC and their team of consultants held a special, all day event to explain the content of the reports and field questions. The Q&A was lively and revealed that there is still a lot of uncertainty about EPR for paper and packaging. In particular, the audience demanded a clear answer on the new program’s diversion and recycling goals; the 75% number has been mentioned by the government, but at this point nobody seems to be able to answer the question, “75% of what?”

Following the session, stakeholders had until February 28th to comment on the reports. There is no doubt that a wide spectrum of local governments, private recycling firms, non-profit organizations and citizen groups made their voices heard. MMBC now has the difficult task of reviewing the submissions and making a final decision on which option to select in a month’s time. Stay tuned!

Follow these links to find copies of the MMBC reports as well as other information on what is happening in EPR in BC!

British Columbia Product Stewardship – http://bcstewards.com/mmbc.htm