Ontario’s current system isn’t working.
Waste diversion rates in Ontario have stalled, while the costs of recycling have skyrocketed. Businesses that produce products and packaging are not responsible for what happens when those products are disposed of. There is no incentive for businesses to make products that minimize garbage, and maximize recyclability. These businesses pay 50% of recycling costs even though they do not control the recycling process. Municipalities have no control over the waste created, but are legally required to provide recycling for their citizens, and to pay 50% of the costs using property taxes. All of this amounts to a broken system in which responsibility for waste diversion is divorced from waste creation. Further, Ontario cities, businesses and taxpayers are stuck paying skyrocketing recycling bills without substantially better outcomes.
Individual producer responsibility is a proven system used around the world.
Currently, municipalities bear the cost and operation burden for garbage and recycling. Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) shifts this responsibility to the people who produce and sell to consumers. IPR is not just about making producers responsible for recycling costs – it encourages producers to develop products that are designed, manufactured and distributed in ways that reduce garbage. When each individual producer is responsible for recycling their products and packaging, they create products and packaging that are easier to recycle. This ensures a competitive producer recycling market, since producers are always looking for ways to reduce the price of their products, and will compete to recycle more cheaply than their competitor. Under IPR, producers are required to meet strong recycling targets and standards. Flexibility as to how producers meet those targets allows for competition and innovation. Producers become responsible for 100% of their product’s recycling costs, and producers compete to reduce waste related costs.