A hierarchical definition of a producer in EPR regulations allows the regulator to identify the company with the closest commercial connection to the designated product that is subject to the jurisdiction’s regulatory requirements. If a multinational company is not subject to the jurisdiction’s regulatory requirements because it does not have a Canadian office, companies importing the multinational’s products assumes the EPR obligations. Jurisdictions often allow an out-of-jurisdiction company to voluntarily take on EPR responsibilities on behalf of the distributors or retailers that import their products.

The goal of EPR should be to set obligations for producers to achieve. If, as we’ve said in the RCA’s EPR principles, proper outcomes are set, then producers will be innovative and progressive to meet outcomes that will enhance the circular economy. Examples could include designing the most efficient collection systems and the redesign of packaging to incorporate recycled content or ensuring recyclability to advance packaging circularity.

Under EPR, producers are responsible for the costs to collect and manage their materials. These costs become another cost of doing business for producers, which encourages them to design products to facilitate recycling and invest in processes to minimize end-of-life costs. Costs of EPR for packaging and paper products are typically a fraction of a penny per package.

Research has shown that there is no discernible difference in the cost of goods in jurisdictions with EPR for packaging and paper products compared to those without.

A study completed in Alberta in 2019 demonstrated that EPR for packaging and paper products could reduce the recycling collection services costs that municipalities charge their residents each year by up to $105 million. If producers become responsible for collection and management of PPP, municipalities can pass along their cost savings to municipal residents or reinvest in other municipal services.

Organics are a significant opportunity to divert waste but are not associated with a clear “producer”, so have not been incorporated into EPR systems to date, even though their packaging has been.

Some EPR regulations require collection and management of materials from both the residential and ICI sectors, for example used oil, tires, electronics, cell phones, fluorescent bulbs, mercury-containing products and antifreeze. To date, EPR has not been used for packaging and paper products from the ICI sector in Canada.

The regulation of EPR varies across the country, with BC’s regulated EPR framework covering the most products, and Alberta being the only province west of Quebec with no EPR for packaging and paper products.

EPR has been regulated by other provinces and countries for a variety of items including used oil, tires, electronics, cell phones, appliances, packaging, paper products, batteries, pharmaceuticals, fluorescent bulbs, mercury-containing products, pesticides, antifreeze, solvents, pressurized containers, end-of-life-vehicles and mattresses.

Yes, EPR exists in provinces across Canada and has been implemented in countries across Europe since the 1990s.

A producer is the entity responsible for meeting requirements set out in an EPR regulation. The producer is typically defined in a hierarchy that obligates the company with the closest commercial connection to the designated product. In practice, producers are the manufacturers, brand owners, importers, or distributors of products supplied to consumers in the province.

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is an environmental / economic policy approach in which producers of products and packaging bear responsibility for ensuring those products and packages are properly managed at the end of their life-cycle.

Companies that collect and manage products and packaging for waste management and recycling bring operational experience that can be of value to producers and their PROs. These companies may provide services directly to producers or PROs, or to municipalities who act as contractors to producers or PROs.

As most residents’ point of contact for recycling services in Alberta’s current collection system, municipalities bring operational experience that can be of value to producers and their PROs. In other jurisdictions with regulated EPR systems, municipalities have often chosen to act as contractors to PROs to provide collection services to residents either directly or through municipally-hired sub-contractors. However, other municipalities have made a different choice and have decided not to provide recycling collection services; in those municipalities the PROs provide the services directly to residents without municipal involvement (e.g., City of Vancouver).

Some retailers may be the designated producer because they are the brand owner or importer of products. Some retailers may be part of a producer’s or PRO’s collection system – i.e., provide return-to-retail collection sites. Because retailers interact with consumers, retailers should understand the EPR regulations, particularly the collection system, so they can share information with their customers, if asked.

The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer's processor (also called a CPU) handles information. The 64-bit version of Windows handles large amounts of random access memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system. Not all devices can run the 64-bit versions of Windows.