September 21, 2009 by Guy Crittenden
I thought readers might be interested to learn that the governments of Ontario and Quebec entered into a trade agreement on September 11. The agreement covers some environmental topics; with regard to waste diversion and Extended Producer Responsibility please see Annex 11. I reproduce the EPR text here:
3. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
The Parties share the common vision of moving towards a zero waste society by promoting the
goals of reducing the amount of waste generated, increasing the reusability of products and
packaging, and diverting recoverable wastes away from final disposal toward higher end
The Parties agree to work together to achieve those goals by a shared focus on the development and implementation of policies and programs related to an EPR approach. EPR is a policy approach which shifts responsibility to producers for the end of life management of their
products and packaging as well as encourages them to reduce their environmental impact.
Collaboration on approaches to EPR will seek to minimize differences between the Parties and provide businesses with greater clarity.
3.1 Diversion programs
The Parties agree to explore ways to establish and harmonize diversion programs in the
(a) Moving their programs for packaging and printed paper (e.g. blue box) towards increased producer responsibility;
(b) Ontario will seek to establish diversion programs to complement existing programs in Québec;
(c) Québec will seek to establish diversion programs to complement existing programs in Ontario including batteries, mercury lamps and other municipal hazardous or special waste, including electronic products such as televisions, computers, printers, phones, cameras and audio-visual equipment; and
(d) Ontario and Québec will work together to identify and establish new programs in other sectors.
3.2 Diversion program Implementation
The Parties agree to work towards reconciling their approach to waste diversion programs in accordance with the following principles:
(a) Apply a waste diversion hierarchy that focuses on reduction followed by reuse and finally recycling. Energy-from-waste should only be considered when the preferred options are not technically or economically viable;
(b) Seek to reduce the environmental impact of a product to the greatest extent possible;
(c) Move towards full EPR to the greatest extent possible;
(d) Producers should internalize environmental costs into the product price;
(e) Foster design for environment among producers;
(f) Endeavour to maximize environmental benefits while minimizing marketplace impacts;
(g) Work to implement programs that establish performance targets;
(h) Work to implement programs that incorporate end of life tracking and auditing requirements; and
(i) Work to implement programs that establish standards for those involved in managing the products and packaging.