Overview of extended producer responsibility in Canada
In Canada, both “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) and “product stewardship” programs are used to manage products at their end-of-life. The key differences in approaches are explained below:
- EPR programs
- Identify end-of-life management of products as the responsibility of producers (e.g., brand owners, first importers or manufacturers).
- Funding is provided by producers.
- Costs can be internalized as a factor of production or may be passed on to consumers.
- Product stewardship programs
- Allocate responsibility to provincial/territorial or municipal governments.
- Legislated environmental fees and/or public funds are commonly used as a funding base.
- Usually do not allocate financial responsibility to producers.
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), through the Canada-wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility, supports the move towards greater producer responsibility, including work towards transforming "product stewardship" initiatives into full EPR programs.
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