In May 2011, the BC Government amended the
Recycling Regulation (the "Regulation") to include the
Packaging and Printed Paper Product Category. In order to
facilitate compliance with the Regulations, Multi-Material BC
("MMBC"), a non-profit corporation established by the
Government of British Columbia, has developed a stewardship plan to
hold the producers of packaging and printed materials accountable
for the costs associated with recycling. Franchisors that 1) have
residency in BC; 2) supply packaging and printed materials to BC
residential consumers; and 3) are brand owners, first importers or
franchisors of packaging or printed paper, are considered producers
under the plan and were required to appoint an agency to carry out
its duties under the Product Stewardship Plan by November 19, 2012
or were required to submit non-binding letters of intent to MMBC
appointing MMBC as its agent by March 31, 2013. The purpose of the
Regulation is to shift responsibility upstream in the product life
cycle to the producer and away from municipalities and general
By May 19, 2014, MMBC will be submitting a
list to the Ministry of Environment of businesses that have failed
to comply with its obligations. Those contravening the Regulation
are liable for enforcement action which can include fines of up to
$200,000 upon conviction and/or may be prohibited from selling,
offering for sale, distributing or using packaging and printed
materials in a commercial enterprise in British Columbia.
For those who currently do not fall within
the requirements of a producer as defined by the Regulations but
will fall into this category in the future, representatives from
MMBC have indicated that they will likely be required to identify
themselves and provide statistics to MMBC regarding the weight of
their packaging and printed materials immediately after the
producer's first year of business.
As of September 13, 2013, 1,279 producers
have registered with MMBC. Such producers are providing packaging
and printed materials such as paper or plastic carry-out bags,
disposable plates and cups, take-out and home delivery food service
packaging such as pizza boxes, cups, folded cartons, wraps, trays,
gift wrapping/tissue paper, paper envelopes and all paper that is
not packaging but is printed with text or graphics as a medium for
communicating information, such as flyers and advertisements. MMBC
encourages businesses who are uncertain about whether they are a
producer to check the list of producers to identify whether
competitors have registered with MMBC.
The cost of this Plan for registered members
is currently unknown. This is because the cost, which will not be
finalized until Q4 2013, will depend upon the contracts negotiated
on behalf of registered producers based on factors such as sorting
costs, tonnage, and curb-side pick-up. Cost for producers will be
based upon the specific type of packaging or printed material and
the percentage of its product's contribution to the total
tonnage of material.
Currently, Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec have
implemented programs for packaging and printed material. While each
program has its subtleties, the overall program design is similar
to the programs in effect in those provinces.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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