RCA Position: Recent Amendments in Extended Producer Responsibility Regulation

Connector June 2024

It is disappointing to learn that on June 20, 2024, per an Order in Council, the Extended Producer Responsibility Regulation (AR 194/2022) was amended to exempt newspaper or magazine producers, who supply less than 200 tonnes annually, from their collection and material management requirements (i.e., their recycling and diversion targets).

In March, the RCA sent a letter to the AEPA Minister speaking out against this proposed exemption. In the letter we stated that “The RCA does not support relieving certain producers of their EPR obligations.” We emphasized that The Government of Alberta “took great care in setting de minimis targets that prevent small producers, especially those that only operate in rural Alberta, from fees that could negatively impact their businesses.” We explained that producers over the de minimis thresholds should receive the same market incentives as other producers to reduce the amount of materials they sell into Alberta’s marketplace (e.g., reduce packaging, use electronic means of information delivery). Our reasoning included that the “established balance should not be upset by allowing exemptions for any one sector or group of producers.” It is regrettable that this exemption has occurred, despite our advice, as it may influence future considerations for other materials.

The exemption does not include catalogues, flyers, packaging, packaging-like products, or any other paper products inserted into the specific newspaper or magazine. These producers are still subject to the registration, reporting, and record-keeping requirements under the Regulation.

Link to “Orders in Council” document from June 20th, 2024.