Government is seeking input on a proposed amendment to the Recycling Regulation mostly related to the stewardship of beverages in containers: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/waste-management/recycling/organics/resources/minor_amendments_to_recycling_regulation.pdf

Encorp Pacific, the steward for beverage containers, is seeking to reduce the number of containers described in the regulation from 21 to 12. The reduction would eliminate separate categories for larger and smaller (for example, plastic bottles up to 500 ml and those over 500 ml, or, containers containing alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages). The benefit to Encorp Pacific is a reduction in container sorts, counting and reporting. Producers, retailers and consumers would effectively benefit through a reduction in operating costs.

The regulation currently allows only cash redemptions for beverage container deposits. Government proposes to allow Encorp Pacific and their depots (and specifically excludes retail) with the ability to provide other forms of payment including payment by cheque, gift card and charitable donation.

Finally, the amendment would allow the Director of the Waste Prevention Branch to alter the performance measures with regard to the recovery rate for any product included in the stewardship regime. The stated purpose of this amendment is to provide an improved method for measuring the recovery of substances such as prescription drugs and paint where a substantive amount of the product is consumed and lesser amounts are the target of stewardship.

Next Steps:

RCC will analyze the regulatory amendment and will reply to Government. Members are encouraged to provide suggestions regarding our input to Government.

Background:

Beverage containers have been stewarded products in British Columbia for more than two decades. RCC is broadly supportive of product stewardship where it is appropriate. RCC prefers a model that provides producers with simplicity of operation at a low-cost.

RCC prefers that products such as beverage containers are included in blue box programs. Currently, producers, retailers and consumers effectively pay for four methods of collection of beverage containers in British Columbia – through a depot network, mandatory return-to-retail, the blue box, and a public space collection program. It is our view that it would be more efficient to focus return through the blue box program.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at: gwilson@retailcouncil.org or 604-736-0368, or, Philippe Cantin, Manager, Environment at: pcantin@cccd-rcc.org or 514-316-8771.