Stewardship and Recycling

Recent Updates

Stewardship and recycling in retail

Retailers play an important role in environmental stewardship and many RCC members are passionate about ensuring the retail industry has a positive environmental impact. Across Canada, RCC is advocating on a range of sustainability issues including electronics, batteries, printed paper and packaging, appliances, hazardous and special products, and more.

RCC supports members with regulatory compliance and oversees several committees, including the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)/Stewardship Committee and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Committee.

Across Canada, there are over 90 stewardship programs that your company may be obligated under depending on what you supply into the market. If you’re new to retail stewardship or need a refresher on the different programs, organizations, terms and more, RCC has assembled several resources to get you started including our Stewardship and Recycling 101 guide.

Stewardship issues RCC advocates for on behalf of retailers

Provincial extended producer responsibility and stewardship regulations

Several provincial governments have announced their intention to review their recycling regulations and transition programs to full extended producer responsibility (EPR), which means producers will be physically and financially responsible for recycling programs. Common materials that fall under EPR regimes include tires, electronics, batteries, printed paper and packaging, hazardous and special products, and more.  

RCC seeks to:

  • Harmonize provincial regulations to ensure consistency and limit unnecessary costs,
  • Create regulatory flexibility to support innovation and improved environmental outcomes,
  • Ensure regulations remain silent on the visibility of Environmental Handling Fees (EHF), and
  • Reduce unnecessary red tape and administrative burden.

To stay informed, members can request to join the EPR/Stewardship Committee.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) and chemicals management

RCC remains engaged in ensuring efficiency and red tape reduction for retailers with regards to chemicals management and issues related to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), including refrigerants, microbeads, triclosan, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and more.

Tools and resources

Stewardship and recycling 101

If you’re new to stewardship files or need a refresher on the different programs, organizations, terms and more. Also gain an understanding of the guiding principles that inform RCC’s advocacy work for sustainability.

Overview of blue box programs across Canada

To help members keep track of the rapidly evolving extended producer responsibility (EPR) landscape for packaging and paper products (PPP).

View webpage

Stewardship map and database

The exclusive guide for retailers on what you need to know about stewardship program compliance in Canada.

See map and stewardship database

CCME’s Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibility

On August 17, 2022, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) released its long awaited Guidance to Facilitate Consistent Extended Producer Responsibility Policies and Programs for Plastic. RCC has prepared an overview webpage including recommendations related to definitions, roles and responsibilities, and more.

View webpage

Considerations when selecting a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO)

A PRO is an organization retained by a producer to establish and/or operate a collection or management system for a regulated material or group of materials (e.g. batteries, tires, etc.)

View guide

To help retailers better understand the evolving packaging and printed paper EPR landscape and explore learnings from well-established programs around the globe, RCC and UL have come together to prepare the white paper, Trends in Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – A Retailer’s Perspective.

Download white paper

UL & RCC Webinar: Business Impacts of Packaging EPR in Canada

As a follow-up to the white paper, RCC and UL co-hosted a webinar in 2021 to share government/stakeholder perspectives and learnings from retailers on packaging EPR in Canada.

View webinar recording

Stewardship regulatory information by region



Member committee

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)/Stewardship Committee

The EPR/Stewardship Committee is actively engaged in advocacy efforts around extended producer responsibility and supports members with program compliance for the various recycling and stewardship programs across Canada. The committee reviews proposed regulatory changes to ensure industry’s needs and concerns are front-and-centre while supporting RCC volunteers and staff who sit on stakeholder and advisory/consultative bodies. Beyond this, the committee guides RCC staff in the development and presentation of RCC positions to provincial and federal governments.  (Meets bi-weekly)

Join this committee

Contact Harrison Brook, Manager, Sustainability at for questions or more information on:

  • Joining EPR/Stewardship and Plastics Committees
  • Support on sustainability compliance