British Columbia | Sustainability

For members with stores in B.C.: Government revises regulatory definitions of printed paper and packaging

Effective November 14, 2017, the B.C. government amended the Recycling Regulation in six material respects:

  • amended the “small producer” exemption to ensure producers of large volumes of newsprint were obligated;
  • amended the definition of printed paper to include all paper, printed or blank, to align with both the original intent and the stewardship agency’s application of the regulation;
  • changed the term “industry product stewardship” to “extended producer responsibility”;
  • amended the design requirements in the beverage container category to ensure that pull tabs and pop tops are not permitted on containers for beverages sold in B.C.;
  • added the term “collection service” with “collection facility” to reflect current (blue box collection) practices; and
  • amended the definition of producer so that the term “use in a commercial enterprise” reflects the original intent of the regulation.

One of the principal impacts of these amendments will be to clearly specify that paper sold without printing (for example, copy paper, wrapping paper, paper for arts and crafts) is obligated. In discussion with the Ministry, RCC learned that some producers have been reporting and remitting for unprinted paper while others have not (because of the previous definition).

RCC’s, and our members’, expectation has always been that the requirements of obligated stewards be equal. For the four years that the BC printed paper and packaging regime has existed, at least one significant steward did not report or remit on the unprinted paper while the vast majority did report and remit. When Government amended the regulation to clarify the obligation, the Ministry consulted the stewardship agency and a non-compliant steward with respect to the definition of printed paper – but did not consult with RCC or compliant stewards. The lack of consultation and notice regarding the regulatory amendment results in the perception of a lack of transparency.

Next Steps:

[Revised January 23: ] RCC will write the Ministry and advocate for a more transparent process regarding consultation and notice regarding regulatory amendments.

Recycle B.C. has advised RCC that they have posted credits to the accounts of any steward who had previously reported paper for general use.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at 604-730-5254 or gwilson@retailcouncil.org.

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