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. A new EPR framework will diversify Alberta’s 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.
Alberta will have 2 EPR systems:
- single-use products, packaging and printed paper (PPP)
- hazardous and special products (HSP)
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.
- paper products such as newspapers, packaging, cardboard, printed paper and magazines
- plastics (both rigid and flexible)
- metal and glass from the residential sector.
Alberta’s EPR framework does not include PPP from the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors.
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
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 will have authority to develop bylaws that outline details and requirements related to:
- promotion of EPR
- a dispute resolution process
- thresholds for exemptions
- compliance matters
The ARMA is accountable to the Minister of Environment and Parks, 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 EPR Regulation was approved on October 3, 2022, through Order in Council (PDF, 328 KB) and will come 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 (PDF, 328 KB).
November 30, 2022
Alberta’s EPR Regulation comes into force.
April 1, 2024
Deadline for producers to provide verification of collection and management plans to the ARMA.
April 1, 2025
EPR systems for single-use products, PPP, and HSP will be operational.
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.
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