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What are other provinces doing?

Other provinces across Canada have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, a form of EPR regulations which include British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Québec. The Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador initiated studies on developing a regulated EPR system in 2014, but no formal decisions have been made yet. Below are brief descriptions of what provinces around Canada are doing.

British Columbia  
In May 2014, BC became North America’s first jurisdiction to launch a 100% EPR program where producers assume full financial and managerial responsibility for packaging and paper product (PPP). BC Recycling Regulation (part of the Environmental Management Act) requires businesses that supply packaging and paper product to BC residents to assume responsibility for the cost of collecting, sorting and recycling these materials. This regulation was implemented in 2011, and in 2014 Recycle BC (formerly Multi-Material BC) was formed to help businesses meet their recycling obligations. BC has also established and extensive EPR program covering a variety of electrical and electronic equipment and has implemented a Phase 2 material program for large and small appliances.     

Saskatchewan currently utilizes a partial EPR approach, where all PPP materials are included, but a portion of program funding is supplied by the local government. The Multi-Material Recycling Program launched in January 2016 and now obligates businesses with over $2 million in revenue to take part in the program. Also, with regulations passed in August 2016, Saskatchewan became the first province in Canada to use an EPR program to manage agricultural plastics and requires sellers of grain bags to provide a recycling program. 

Manitoba has established multiple EPR programs that are fully funded by industry stewards, PPP is an exception where municipalities share 20% of the costs with producers.  The Manitoba program does not include general use paper or posters, cards, and envelopes; instead it focuses on newspaper, magazines, and other printed materials. 

Ontario also has an EPR program governing PPP which is 50% government funded and excludes general use paper and posters, cards, and envelopes. Late in 2016, Ontario adopted the Waste Free Ontario Act which places an emphasis on creating a circular economy through EPR programs. Transitioning of the PPP program is underway, although it is not expected to be fully implemented until 2022/23. 

Below is a map outlining which provinces in Canada currently have a legislated EPR packaging and paper program and to what extend those programs are producer funded/operated:

Map of PPP EPR programs and producer funding in Canada by province.  Source: Global News. Available from: