Extended Producer Responsibility in Canada

The theme of the biennial Conference on Canadian Stewardship, held in Montreal at the end of September 2017, was "EPR and the Circular Economy." In attendance were "hundreds of delegates representing business, manufacturers, retailers, industry and trade associations, municipalities, provincial and federal and territorial government representatives and stewardship programs from across North America and Europe." According to Resource Recycling, presenters suggested "opportunities now exist to expand EPR to include textiles, ozone-depleting substances and white goods (Quebec has now added appliances to its EPR-program list)." Canada has more than 120 extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs. Competition was also discussed. "The typical Canadian EPR program has only one producer responsibility organization (PRO) for a specific product in a specific province. Some critics say this monopoly may stifle innovation. In Europe, numerous EPR efforts provide for competition. For example, the EPR system for curbside recycling in Germany involves 10 separate PROs." View video and slides on the conference website.