What is Extended Producer Responsibility?

The Recycling Council of British Columbia defines Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as "an environmental strategy arising from the Polluter Pays Principle. The strategy objective is to minimize the environmental burden of a product by making the producer/consumer directly responsible for the financial costs and management functions associated with products throughout the product's life cycle with particular focus on the post‐consumer stage where responsibility has traditionally rested with local government authorities."

EPR programs lift the responsibility of waste disposal off of municipal and regional governments and place it on the manufacturers/importers and consumers. EPR programs often (but not always) require that consumers pay an "eco-fee" when purchasing new regulated products. The collection of these fees funds the recycling program, including depot operation, transport, storage, processing, monitoring and tracking, and public education.

You can find a complete list of BC's EPR programs on our Product Stewardship page.


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