Canada’s New Brunswick province plans to develop an extended producer responsibility (EPR) program for packaging and printed paper in collaboration with Recycle NB, Fredericton, New Brunswick, and other stakeholders.
“New Brunswick will benefit from the implementation of this program because it increases recycling opportunities, diverts material from landfills and puts the onus on large producers to reduce their packaging,” says Environment and Local Government Minister Jeff Carr. “Having vibrant and sustainable communities is one of our government’s six key priority areas. Our environment and our communities will benefit from this program because it will lead to more recycling of a wider range of items.”
According to a news release from the provincial government, similar programs are in place in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, representing 80 percent of the Canadian population.
“Extended producer responsibility is an environmental policy that gives industry the opportunity to accept its obligation to provide for the end-of-life management of the products it produces,” says Recycle NB CEO Frank LeBlanc. “We applaud the provincial government for moving towards a made-in-New Brunswick program that will see a 21st-century waste management solution.”
LeBlanc recently joined Recycle NB as its CEO in September. Recycle NB reports that he has a background in EPR and stewardship program development.
New Brunswick residents already divert about 30 percent of packaging and printed paper through existing voluntary curbside recycling programs, the provincial government reports in a news release on the new EPR program. An EPR program is expected to divert more than 60 percent of this material.
“An extended producer responsibility program for packaging and printed paper will help reduce waste and reduce strain on our landfills,” says Wayne Sturgeon, president of the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick. “It will save local governments money without costing our residents more in taxes. And since many products are priced nationally, New Brunswickers are already paying without getting the benefits.”
Currently, there are EPR programs in New Brunswick for tires, paint, oil and glycol products and electronics.