Alberta Announces Extended Producer Responsibility Framework impacting Plastic Recycling

No current resolutions on Agriculture Plastic Recycling.

This spring, the Alberta government announced its intention to pursue a “circular economy approach” to waste management through the development of “an extended producer responsibility (EPR) program that will reduce volume in our landfills and diversify the economy. Under this approach, the cost and management of recycling shifts from municipalities and municipal taxpayers to those directly producing and consuming goods, encouraging companies to produce less waste and packaging and come up with innovative ways to recycle more materials.” news release March 17, 2021 Both the RMA and AUMA are quoted as supporting this decision.

Under this approach, the industry funds the recycle programs, and decides if they will pass on the added costs to the consumers. “In other jurisdictions, there have been no additional consumer fees for packaging materials and Alberta consumers may already benefit from extended producer responsibility programs because product pricing is done nationally.” A public online survey was opened until April 30 to gather feedback on this approach, the results of which are published in the What We Heard: Extended Producer Responsibility Engagement.

On November 15, the government announced their intention to pass the ” Environmental Protection and Enhancement Amendment Act (that) would set the foundation for Alberta’s government to implement an extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework in 2022.” The announcement goes on to say that the EPR Framework would contribute to the Alberta economy through the development of a recycling industry, align Alberta with other jurisdictions and “achieve one of the goals outlined in the Natural Gas Vision and Strategy for Alberta to become a North American centre of excellence for plastics diversion and recycling by 2030.” news release November 15, 2021

Phase two of the Extended Producer Responsibility Engagement is underway and open until January 14, 2022.

October 2021 the Agriculture Plastics Recycling Group published an article “Managing Ag Plastics Long term – Can Product Suppliers Play a Bigger Role?” outlining their position on including agriculture plastics in the EPR and the need for a stable recycling option in Alberta.

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