TORONTO – June 30, 2023: Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has been a driving force behind Ontario’s transition to a new blue box system, including being a co-founder of Circular Materials, the non-profit organization that was formed to lead the common collection system. Tomorrow marks the launch of this transition to 100% Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), where industry assumes full responsibility for all residential recycling.
Under the new system, producers that make packaging decisions will now pay full end-of-life recycling costs, including the collection, processing, and recycling of materials. As we’ve seen around the world, EPR creates a strong incentive for businesses to move away from hard-to-recycle materials, by shifting to more sustainable product and packaging design options that minimize natural resource consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As the largest sector paying into Ontario’s blue box program, retailers share a common view that EPR is a powerful policy tool to facilitate a circular economy. We believe that printed paper and packaging do not belong in landfills and that valuable resources recovered from within these products should be fed back into a circular economy.
Ontario residents and consumers are the real winners of this transition. A harmonized recycling system under EPR will reduce municipal waste management costs while promoting a transformative shift towards improved resource management and positive environmental outcomes.
About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest private-sector employer with over 2 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $85 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were over $462B in 2022. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two-thirds of core retail sales through small, medium, and large retail businesses across the country. This includes 54,000 storefronts including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers, online merchants and quick service restaurants. Our grocery members alone represent more than 95 per cent of the market in Canada.
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