A voluntary steward is located outside of BC but supplies products with packaging or printed paper to residents in BC. Voluntary stewards were able to demonstrate environmental responsibility for their packaging and/or printed paper by signing a Letter of Intent with MMBC to become a voluntary steward.
BC Recycling Regulation
In the absence of a BC-based brand owner or franchisor, the first importer of the packaged product or printed paper into BC becomes the obligated party. Businesses that are not resident in BC may choose to become voluntary stewards to relieve their BC importers of the obligation.
Under a new BC government regulation, to be introduced shortly, small businesses who meet the following criteria are exempt from assuming responsibility for the recycling of their packaging and printed paper:
Companies that supply printed paper and products in packaging to residents in British Columbia are responsible for the program.
MMBC submitted a stewardship plan that meets the requirements for businesses and organizations that provide PPP to residential consumers:
The Recycling Regulation transitions responsibility for managing packaging and printed paper from local government to stewards so that the companies that supply printed paper products and packaging are responsible for managing these items when residents are ready to dispose of them.
Stewards are involved in PPP programs in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec as well as in many European countries. The term used for stewards in the BC regulation is producer.
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is an environmental policy mechanism in which a steward’s responsibility for its product (e.g., packaging, printed paper) is extended to the post-consumer stage of the product’s lifecycle. Responsibility includes managing the product from the point the consumer is ready to discard it through to end-of-life by collecting and diverting it from disposal.
In July 2004, British Columbia (BC) enacted the Environmental Management Act and then, in October 2004, the Recycling Regulation which transitions responsibility for managing end-of-life products from government and its taxpayers to industry and its consumers. The Recycling Regulation was amended in May 2011 to include Schedule 5 which defines the packaging and printed paper product (PPP) category. With this inclusion, the stewards of PPP became obligated to submit a stewardship program plan to the government.
British Columbia has regulated more than 20 materials under the Recycling Regulation, including beverage containers, tires, used oil, paint and waste electronics.
A stewardship plan describes how stewards will provide reasonable access to residents for packaging and printed paper collection services in BC and achieve a 75% recovery rate. Stewardship plans were to be submitted to the Ministry of Environment by November 19, 2012.