VANCOUVER, BC -- EPR Canada, a not-for-profit group that monitors the rate at which Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments are adopting legislative measures to make producers pay for managing the waste generated from their post-consumer products and packaging, announced today that British Columbia stands at the head of the class.
EPR Canada published the score each government got in its first Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Report Card, which evaluates federal, provincial and territorial EPR policies and programs in place or pending by the end of 2011.
'British Columbia clearly ranked well above the other governments. Its policies and programs designed to have producers pay 100% of the cost of managing many of their products and packaging after the consumer is finished with them are setting the bar high for other governments in Canada,' said EPR Canada co-founder, Geoff Love.
He, like the other members of the organization has been a central figure in developing EPR programs and policy drivers since EPR was introduced to Canada in the 1990s.
'British Columbia is seriously committed to the principles of reducing the amount of waste we produce,' said Terry Lake, BC's Minister of the Environment.
'We've worked hard for years to create policies that put responsibility fully in the hands of producers and consumers and we assess our progress continually to take stock of how we're doing and what more we can do. This recognition comes at a time when we are about to expand EPR to printed paper and packaging and we are proud that our hard work and success in this important area of environmental stewardship is being acknowledged.'
Minister Lake credited his Ministry of the Environment staff and industry for the successes BC has enjoyed.
'The success of our EPR programs is based on the efforts of the people in my department, along with the collaboration of business leaders throughout our province. They are the ones who make these programs work for all British Columbians,' he said.
'Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia came in close behind BC,' said Christina Seidel, another member of EPR Canada. 'But BC's leadership in developing policies and encouraging programs where the producers take lead responsibility instead of municipalities and regional waste authorities sets the best example for the rest of Canada. Our Report Card notes what each jurisdiction is doing well and where it can improve.'
The scores for each jurisdiction are shown to the right:
The only jurisdiction to receive a failing grade is the federal government; the only jurisdiction not to respond to the questionnaire this year is Nunavut.
As a result of the unique challenges faced by the territories, EPR Canada chose not to allocate a score this year to the Yukon or the Northwest Territories, both of which submitted completed questionnaires. Both, however, show progress toward putting EPR programs in place.
The team of EPR Canada judges rated each government's performance based on responses their departments of environment provided to a questionnaire that EPR Canada sent to each Environment Minister earlier this year.
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) defines extended producer responsibility as a policy approach in which a producer's responsibility, physical and/or financial, for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product's life cycle, shifting it away from municipalities and regional waste authorities. It also encourages producers to incorporate environmental considerations in the design of their products.
The 2011 Report Card is the first of several annual ratings that EPR Canada plans to produce and publish on its website, www.eprcanada.ca EPR Report Card, 2011 published on www.eprcanada.ca EPR Canada Q&A posted on www.eprcanada.ca