Canada

In the context of Canada, EPR programs have been implemented for various products and materials to address environmental concerns and promote recycling and proper disposal. These programs often involve collaboration between government agencies, industry stakeholders, and consumers to ensure effective waste management and environmental stewardship.
In Canada, EPR programs have been established for a range of products, including electronics, tires, packaging materials, batteries, and more. The specific regulations and implementation of EPR vary by province and territory, as environmental policy is primarily managed at the provincial level in Canada.
Quebec:
Eco Entreprises Quebec (EEQ): The Eco Entreprises Quebec manages the province’s EPR program for packaging and printed materials. EEQ works with businesses to ensure compliance with regulations, manages recycling programs, and promotes eco-design and waste reduction. Website: https://www.eeq.ca/

Ontario:
Circular Materials: Ontario has been increasingly focusing on circular economy principles, aiming to reduce waste and promote sustainable resource use. Various initiatives and organizations are working towards this goal, including Circular Materials, which focuses on advancing circular economy practices and EPR programs in the province. Website: https://www.circularmaterials.ca/news/transition-launch/ 

Legal basis

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From 2005 to 2022 : a financial responsibility

The Municipal Powers Act gives municipalities jurisdiction over residual materials management.

The Environment Quality Act, which introduced the EPR concept in 2002, and the Regulation respecting compensation for municipal services provided to recover and reclaim residual materials (adopted in 2004) established the industry’s obligation to financially compensate municipalities for the cost of curbside recycling. The share of producers’ financial responsibility has gradually grown from 50% in 2005 to reach 100% in 2013. Municipal services usually include residential units and small industries, commerce and institutions (ICI).
Quebec’s Regulation covers all types of containers, packaging and printed matter, but not books or other items designated by another regulation or formal program, such as the deposit system.

ÉEQ is the organization certified to compensate the cost of recycling materials in the “containers and packaging” and “printed matter” classes.

Starting 2022 : transitioning to a full EPR of the curbside recycling system, to be effective in 2025.

In 2021, the Government of Québec adopted the “Act to amend mainly the Environment Quality Act” with respect to deposits and selective collection”. The goal of this reform is to place producers at the heart of the curbside recycling system by giving them full responsibility for containers, packaging and printed paper they put on the market, from design to recycling, while prioritizing local markets as we work towards a circular economy. The bill sets the table on the terms of the transition from the compensation plan to EPR approach.

In 2022, the Regulation for the modernization of curbside recycling system was enacted. The Regulation assigns responsibility for developing, implementing, and funding a modernized curbside recycling system to producers that market or distribute containers, packaging, and printed paper in Québec. Supporting by more than 2000 producers, ÉEQ has been appointed the Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) for curbside recycling which means that ÉEQ is now responsible for developing, implementing, and financially supporting the modernized curbside recycling system on behalf of the obligated producers.

Containers, packaging, and printed matter including newspapers and travel, wine, or automobile guides, school textbooks, and so on, with a useful life of less than five years are all targeted. New products will be added to the existing compensation scheme:

    • Single-use products such as straws and utensils intended for the preparation or consumption of food products, and containers and packaging items such as hooks and hangers used to support or display products.
    • Managers of transactional websites for products such as single-use containers, packaging and printed matter covered by the Regulation but acquired outside Québec by an individual for personal.

Gradually, from 2025 to 2031, the owners and managers of multi-unit buildings; condominium associations; and industrial-commercial-institutional buildings will have to participate in the system and, in certain cases, make collection bins for system-targeted residual materials available to their clienteles and/or residents.

ÉEQ must achieve the recovery, reclamation, and local reclamation outcomes by type of residual material, which will evolve over time. The achieved performance rates will be subject to government-audited, annual reporting. The traceability of residual materials must be ensured up to their final destination so that they are considered in the calculation of the achieved performance outcomes, which will encourage local and neighbouring market solutions.

Facts and figures

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Data 2021

 

Population 8,7 mil.
No. of local authorities​
1,110 municipalities grouped into 568 local or regional authorities
No. of companies in system Over 3,199 contributing companies and organizations
Packaging introduced to the market
655 000 tons
Recovered waste
461,000 tons of containers and packaging (57.8%)
Types of packaging All containers and packaging except soft drink and beer containers covered by a deposit program

 

Packaging organisation/s in Canada:

Ecopack
Ecopack