How is EPR different from product stewardship?
Some waste diversion programs are designed and operated by governments (municipalities or provinces) or by quasi-governmental administrative authorities in which producers, if involved, are in a minority. These programs are financed by government or by fees levied by government on producers and/or consumers. These programs are considered examples of product stewardship or partial EPR, depending on the degree of producer involvement in designing, operating and/or financing the program.
Only programs where producers are solely and fully responsible for designing, operating and financing the diversion program and are accountable for the program’s environmental performance are considered full EPR.
Transitioning from product stewardship to EPR
Diversion programs implemented by provinces and territories were often originally designed as product stewardship programs, delivered by government or by quasi-governmental administrative authorities. Given the direct or indirect involvement of government, these programs typically deliver the province’s desired environmental outcomes.
As product stewardship programs are transitioned to EPR to comply with CCME’s CAP, governments face the challenge of establishing an effective policy and regulatory framework that both transitions responsibility to producers to design, operate and finance diversion programs while ensuring that producer-operated programs continue to deliver the desired environmental outcomes.
What is Extended Producer Responsibility?
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility (physical and/or financial) for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of the product’s life cycle. EPR shifts responsibility upstream in the product life cycle to the producer and away from municipalities and regional waste authorities. As a policy approach it provides incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations into the design of their products. EPR also shifts the historical public sector tax-supported responsibility for some waste to the individual brand owner, manufacturer or first importer.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has become a widely used environmental instrument for the management of end-of-life products and wastes. Governments and the public started the drive for EPR, but it is producers that have stepped up to take responsibility and operate a number of cost effective programs with high rates of waste diversion and positive environmental impacts. EPR is a Canadian environmental success story.
What and who is EPR Canada?
EPR Canada has been formed as a not-for-profit association by a small group of like-minded individuals who have been connected with producer responsibility programs across Canada for a combined period of over 100 years. The mission of the association is to help ensure the continued growth and improvement of EPR policies, programs and practices in Canada.
EPR Canada is dedicated to fostering informed debate and to being a forum through which EPR public policy officials, practitioners, stakeholders and experts can work together to advance EPR in Canada. EPR Canada will focus on and promote:
- Leadership and innovation;
- Best practices in policy and program operations; and
- Defining and advancing efficient and effective program development, implementation, management and harmonization
EPR Canada developed Canada’s first environmental Report Card of federal, provincial and territorial EPR policies and program performance as its founding project initiative. The results of first EPR Canada Report Card were announced and published in July 2012.
EPR Canada is currently in the midst of developing the 2012 EPR Canada Report Card according to the following stages:
- Distribution of the 2012 EPR Canada Report Card Preamble and Questionnaire: February 2013
- Federal, provincial and territorial EPR submissions due: late May 2013
- EPR Canada assessment of the submissions and preparation of the 2012 Report Card: May to August 2013
- Announcement of 2012 Report Card results: September 2013
To learn more about EPR Canada and the EPR Report Card 2012 project that is now underway, please visit the following pages.
EPR Canada is grateful for the graphic expertise of Bev Stone who has contributed time and skills to assist us in producing the presentation of our EPR Report Card and other communication materials. Bev can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 EPR Canada Report Card Sponsors
The members of EPR Canada contribute their time and efforts to further the organization’s objectives voluntarily and without remuneration, although some expenses are reimbursed. To assist with expenses related to the announcement and publishing the results of the 2012 Report Card, we are grateful for the support of the following sponsors. Through their financial contributions, EPR Canada can continue to encourage EPR policy and program development, implementation and harmonization across Canada.