Sustainability | Sustainability

Retail Council of Canada encouraged by Ontario Government’s new battery recycling model

February 28, 2020

Ontario Government’s move to extended producer responsibility for battery recycling confirms its commitment to Blue Box reform and demonstrates the Province’s strong environmental leadership.

TORONTO – Retail Council of Canada (RCC) applauds yesterday’s announcement by Minister Yurek and the Ontario Government to move battery recycling to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) for oversight and management.

Under this new recycling model, producers of products and packaging will now be required take on the full cost to recycle their goods and will need to meet annual recycling targets. Currently, end-of-life recycling can add up to 10% of the total before tax costs to a product. This has seen retailers in Ontario lose sales to out-of-province and US-based online retailers who can offer lower prices that do not include recycling charges.

RCC and several of its members worked with RPRA on their first Blue Box program, which focused on tire recycling, and are encouraged at the new legislation. RCC is confident the resulting reduction in red tape will allow business to both effectively achieve Ontario’s ambitious recycling objectives while lowering the cost of the price of batteries for Ontario customers – customers who currently pay for the most expensive battery recycling program in the world.

“The existing system actually incentivizes Ontario recycling companies to import depleted batteries from the United States and does so at Ontario consumers’ expense,” says Sebastian Prins, Director of Government Relations (Ontario), Retail Council of Canada. “The new regulations will mandate that product producers responsibly design batteries with end-of- life costs and concerns in mind. This will create a more transparent and streamlined system that benefits retailers, consumers and the environment alike.”  Added Prins, “Yesterday’s announcement is especially promising because is sets the foundation for what will likely to be the blueprint for other recycling programs that are still to be outlined; for electronics, for hazardous waste and for product packaging.

Other Quotes

“Currently, the Ontario consumer pays for the most expensive battery recycling program in the world. This was the result of the implementation of a cost sharing model with financial incentives that were above and beyond market rates. By moving to this new regulatory framework yesterday’s regulation paves the way for a more transparent and cost-effective program, in tune with the proper cost of recycling our end-of-life batteries.”
– Peter Maddock, Manager, Environmental and Regulatory Compliance, Panasonic Canada Inc.

“We look forward to expanding our existing battery collection and recycling program in Ontario and making it easier for the public to recycle their batteries. Through leveraging our invaluable retail partner network, the new regulation will allow us to provide more convenient and accessible drop-off locations for Ontario residents. This is a huge move in the right direction and we’re confident that this regulation will lead to increased recycling rates and lower overall system costs.”
— Joe Zenobio, President of Call2Recycle Canada, Inc.

About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $377 billion in 2018. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org

For further information: or to schedule media interviews, contact: Sebastian Prins, Director, Government Relations (Ontario), 1.416.467.3759, [email protected]

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