BC Establishes New EPR Legislation – How it may affect your operations

A lot of our clients have been asking about the new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation the government has recently passed which now makes ‘producers’ responsible for taking on recycling costs. BC is following the lead of other provinces who have already embraced this new model, including Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.

This legislation is coming into effect in May 2014 and Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC), a not-for-profit agency established under the British Columbia Society Act is tasked with developing a Stewardship Plan for Paper Print and Packaging material (PPP). In the past, governments and taxpayers were responsible for paying for residential curbside recycling, but this new legislation required producers to now be responsible for the cost.

Essentially, every business that sells or distributes products that go to residential customers in BC must file their own approved stewardship plan, or register with MMBC who will submit a plan on their behalf. If you haven’t done this, you are evidently already not in compliance and should connect with the agency as soon as possible.

We have come up with a quick summary of a few FAQ’s for our clients; some of who will be impacted by this legislation. They are sourced from Multi Material British Columbia’s (MMBC) website, which is full of information on how to identify your business as a producer, what will be included and when this is coming into effect. If you have further questions or have not already signed up with MMBC, they can be contacted directly at 1 888 980 9549 or producers@multimaterialbc.ca.

What is EPR?

EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. Essentially, it is a policy approach which requires a producer to be physically and/or financially responsible for the post-consumer stage of a product’s lifecycle.

It means that the business responsible for putting the material out into the residential marketplace is also responsible for the recycling costs. Just as we have deposits on a single use beverage container, so will printed materials and packaging.

Who does this affect?

This legislation affects any ‘producer’ (the word used to describe a company or organization which is obligated by regulation to recover its packaging and printed paper from residential households).

If you are an organization printing and distributing paper printed with text or graphics or if you are providing products delivered in packaging that is being distributed to households, you are considered a producer. Some examples include product catalogues, flyers, magazines and newspapers.

Click here for MMBC’s detailed producer guidebook to determine if your business is considered a producer.

How do I know if I am considered a producer?

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If you answered yes to all three questions, you are considered a producer.

Click here for MMBC’s detailed producer guidebook to determine if your business is considered a producer.

Is Hemlock considered a producer?

No, Hemlock is not considered a producer. Because we supply printed materials in a business-to-business fashion,  we are not directly putting materials into the residential recycling stream, but rather, are supplying businesses with materials which get re-distributed to their clients.

Why am I just hearing about this?

MMBC has indicated that they have made efforts to reach out to the broader business community to make producers aware of their legal obligations over the past 6 months and continues to expand their lists and communication efforts to ensure everyone is becoming aware of the coming legislation.

How much will this be costing my business and when does this come into effect?

MMBC has not set forth any cost schedules and is currently researching the costs which will be announced by Quarter 4, 2013 (December 2013).

Following approval of the PPP Stewardship Plan by the Ministry of Environment, MMBC will begin preparations for implementation of the PPP Stewardship Plan, including procuring collection and processing services.  During this process, producers will be required to report the quantity of PPP they supply to BC residents so that MMBC can allocate fees across its members.  MMBC expects to be able to announce the costs to producers by Quarter 4, 2013(December 2013). Payments will be due in 2014.

(MMBC FAQs, 2013)


There are still many questions to be answered by MMBC during this final process. If you believe you are a producer and need to file a PPP, or if you have questions, please call MMBC at 1 888 980 9549 or check out any of the links on this post, or their website.

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One response to “BC Establishes New EPR Legislation – How it may affect your operations

  1. Pingback: What BC's upcoming EPR legislation means to you | Inklings by Hemlock Printers

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