Regulated Extended Producer Responsibility Systems

This regulatory framework encourages businesses to find new ways to recycle materials and reduce waste.

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Waste reduction and recycling programs

Overview

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) shifts the physical and financial burden of collecting, sorting, processing and recycling waste to the producer and away from local governments and taxpayers. Alberta's new EPR framework will diversify our economy by encouraging companies to find innovative ways to recycle more materials and produce less packaging waste.

Alberta’s approach aligns with producer-run programs in other jurisdictions, empowering producers to:

  • create local recycling markets
  • design cost-effective and efficient recycling programs
  • demonstrate environmental responsibility

Once fully implemented in April 2025, the EPR framework will embrace Alberta’s polluter-pay principle and Alberta’s long tradition of supporting innovation.

The EPR framework will create economies of scale and help businesses find effective solutions to market the material collected, including driving demand for recycled content. Albertans will benefit from a consistent recycling experience between communities.

Extended Producer Responsibility Systems

Alberta will have 2 EPR systems:

  • single-use products, packaging and printed paper products (PPP)
  • hazardous and special products (HSP)

PPP

Each year, Alberta municipalities collect and process 197,600 tonnes of recyclable packaging and paper products from households at a cost of about $107 million, as estimated by a third party study.

PPP includes the following materials from the residential sector:

  • paper products such as newspapers, packaging, cardboard, printed paper and magazines
  • plastics (both rigid and flexible)
  • metal and glass

Alberta’s EPR framework does not include PPP from the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. PPP materials regulated under existing regulated stewardship programs (beverage containers, tires, paint, electronics and used oil materials) are not included in EPR PPP to avoid duplicating requirements.

HSP

Currently, the Government of Alberta and Alberta municipalities jointly fund management of household hazardous wastes. Alberta’s EPR system for HSP will replace Alberta’s existing household hazardous waste program and expand upon the materials accepted.

HSP products include:

  • consumer-sized solid, liquid, and gaseous products that are flammable, corrosive, and toxic
  • batteries
  • pesticides

The system does not include HSP products sold in industrial sizes. HSP materials regulated under existing regulated stewardship programs (beverage containers, tires, paint, electronics and used oil materials) are not included in EPR HSP to avoid duplicating requirements.

Future EPR systems

Alberta is focused on the successful implementation of the PPP and HSP systems at this time. Additional materials may be considered for EPR in the future.

Oversight of EPR

The Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA), which has managed regulated recycling programs for used oil, paint, tires and electronics in Alberta for more than 30 years, is the designated organization that will provide oversight of Alberta’s new PPP and HSP EPR systems.

The ARMA can develop bylaws that outline details and requirements related to:

  • registration
  • reporting
  • auditing
  • promotion of EPR
  • a dispute resolution process
  • thresholds for exemptions
  • compliance matters

The ARMA is accountable to the Minister of Environment and Protected Areas, and must provide business plans, reports, and audited financial statements to the Minister annually as well as notice of changes to its bylaws.

Regulation and timelines

Alberta’s Extended Producer Responsibility Regulation came into force on November 30, 2022. Government recognizes it will take time for producers to develop their EPR systems including considerations for collection and material management.

  • Producers will be required to provide verification of collection and management plans to the ARMA by April 1, 2024.
  • EPR systems for PPP and HSP will be operational by April 1, 2025.
  • October 3, 2022

    Alberta’s EPR Regulation was created through Order in Council.

  • November 30, 2022

    Alberta’s EPR Regulation came into force.

  • Spring 2023
  • Fall 2023

    Bylaws to be finalized

    Community and Producer Registration Process Launches

  • April 1, 2024

    Deadline for PPP producers to provide verification of collection and management plans to the ARMA.

  • April 1, 2025

    EPR systems for PPP and HSP will be operational for registered communities, which had existing service as of November 30, 2022. Registered communities, which did not have existing service as of November 30, 2022, will receive EPR systems by October 1, 2026.

Plastics Circular Economy

The Plastics Circular Economy (PCE) ensures plastics are not just reused and recycled, but also turned into new products, which is good for the environment and the economy. The EPR framework will support Alberta’s transition to a PCE by growing markets and attracting investment in plastics recycling.

The PCE is a key part of Alberta’s Natural Gas Vision and Strategy, which supports economic growth and investment certainty.

Contact

Connect with the Waste Policy Section:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-4961
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]