VANCOUVER - The Province is taking steps to reduce red tape for small businesses impacted by a new recycling program which shifts costs from B.C. taxpayers to industry.
Government intends to introduce a new regulation which will exempt small businesses from any reporting or recycling costs if they meet any one of the following criteria:
- Under one million dollars in annual revenues;
- Under one tonne of packaging and printed paper supplied to B.C. residents; or
- Operate as a single point of retail sale and are not supplied by or operated as part of franchise, a chain or under a banner.
This means less than 3,000 businesses out of over 385,000 in the province will be affected by this program; less than one per cent of the total number of business in B.C.
Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC), the industry-led stewardship organization responsible for the recycling program, will also be giving an option to businesses for an annual flat fee if they are considered a low volume producer of packaging and printed paper. Businesses producing between one and five tonnes can pay a pre-determined recycling fee and will not have to provide detailed reporting.
Last fall, government requested MMBC to consult with small businesses after being presented with concerns about the program's implementation.
In response, MMBC engaged with the business community, led by the BC Chamber of Commerce, and presented a policy to government intended to eliminate administrative burden for small businesses in B.C.
The new program will come into effect on May 19, 2014.
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment -
"Our government listened to the concerns of small business, which is why we asked MMBC to work with the business community on a set of recycling rules that makes sense for small business while still achieving our shared environmental goals. I would like to thank the Chamber for working closely with us and supporting our solution to this problem."
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Small Business -
"We are working to make it easier for small business to do business in B.C. That's why we worked closely with the business community to find a solution to meeting the requirements of this program. Environmental stewardship is vitally important and at the same time we need to meet the needs of the small business community without creating unnecessary regulation."
John Winter, president and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce -
"These changes are great news for B.C.'s business community and demonstrate that this government is serious about its commitment to red tape reduction. We applaud government for truly listening to B.C. businesses and taking action to protect our business community from burdensome fees and red tape."
Allen Langdon, managing director, Multi-Material British Columbia -
"I would like to thank the Minister of Environment, the BC Chamber of Commerce and all of the industry associations that participated in the development of the small business recommendations, some of which the government will introduce into the Recycling Regulation. MMBC's next focus is launching the program in May, so B.C. residents can start recycling new categories of packaging, like milk cartons, foam polystyrene, plant pots, aluminium foil packaging, plastic film packaging and drink cups."
- In 2009, the Canada Wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) was released by the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment, calling for all jurisdictions to implement an EPR program for packaging and printed paper (PPP) by 2015.
- In May 2011, following a two year consultation with industry, the Recycling Regulation was amended to include PPP (packaging and all paper printed with text or graphics such as newspapers, flyers, and phonebooks).
- Producers of PPP had to submit a stewardship plan to the Ministry of Environment by Nov. 19, 2012, and MMBC's plan was approved by the ministry in April 2013.
- MMBC's approved plan includes:
- Increasing collection service levels province wide.
- Providing curbside (blue box) collection services to 1.25 million B.C. households.
- Increasing the provincial PPP recycling rate from 52 per cent to 75 per cent.
- In November 2013, government staff along with MMBC held eight regional workshops throughout the province to provide clarity around local government options and held meetings with small businesses to discuss MMBC's proposed small business policy.
- EPR is a proven and effective policy tool that will shift the cost and management of products at end of life from local governments and B.C. taxpayers to the producers and consumers of the products.
BC Newsroom - Ministry of Environment: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/environment-1
Opinion - Editorial: http://bit.ly/1jfXpgU
Ministry of Environment Communications