Circular Materials begins the transition to Extended Producer Responsibility in New Brunswick

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First Atlantic Province to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility on packaging and paper

Today, Circular Materials begins the transition to extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging and paper products in New Brunswick. This is an important milestone in improving recycling in the province. EPR shifts the financial and operational responsibility of recycling programs to brand owners – those that produce and supply packaging and paper product materials to residents.

EPR supports innovation, supply chain synergies, and encourages the efficient use of materials. It is recognized as one of the most effective ways to improve recycling rates and advance a circular economy where materials are looped back into the system and used again and again.

“We are excited to be launching in New Brunswick and are committed to delivering an efficient and effective recycling system that will meet the needs of New Brunswickers and improve recovery rates,” says Jeff MacCallum, Managing Director of Atlantic Canada, Circular Materials. “We look forward to working with all stakeholders to deliver a results-driven recycling program for packaging and paper products.”

Recycle NB is the agency responsible for designated materials in the province and will oversee the packaging and paper products program. “We are pleased to work with Circular Materials to launch Atlantic Canada’s first EPR program for packaging and paper products,” says Frank LeBlanc, Chief Executive Officer, Recycle NB. “EPR programs create partnerships among industry and governments at all levels, while at the same time help to meet increasing demands by citizens for more comprehensive recycling programs. Ultimately, this program will translate to environmental and economic benefits for all New Brunswickers.”

New Brunswick’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman agrees, “This is great news. As we have seen in other provinces across the country, extended producer responsibility will support consistency and more products being recycled in New Brunswick. We want to thank Recycle New Brunswick and Circular Materials for delivering a program that will drive results and improve recovery rates.”

Along with the transition of curbside recycling services, Circular Materials is partnering with a network of Eastern Recyclers Association redemption centres for the collection of glass, flexible plastics, ancillary cardboard, and expanded polystyrene foam. Rolling out in a phased approach starting today, this collaboration will provide New Brunswickers a convenient way to recycle these materials that have not been part of their recycling program previously.

The transition for existing residential curbside completes in 2024 and will result in improved recycling programs within each region. Transition for the expansion of services will be complete in 2025 and public space in 2027.

Quick Facts:

The program will operate as per the approved New Brunswick Stewardship Plan for Packaging and Paper. Given the size and scope of the program, it will be launched in two phases.

Phase-one Regions launching between November 1, 2023 – May 1, 2024:

  • Northwest Regional Service Commission (Region 1)
  • Restigouche Regional Service Commission (Region 2)
  • Fundy Regional Service Commission (Region 9)
  • Southwest Regional Service Commission (Region 10)
  • Capital Regional Service Commission (Region 11)
  • Western Valley Regional Service Commission (Region 12)

Phase-two Regions launching between May 1, 2024 – November 1, 2024:

  • Chaleur Regional Service Commission (Region 3)
  • Acadian Peninsula Regional Service Commission (Region 4)
  • Greater Miramichi Regional Service Commission (Region 5)
  • Kent Regional Service Commission (Region 6)
  • Southeast Regional Service Commission (Region 7)
  • Kings Regional Service Commission (Region 8)

In October 2021, the Government of New Brunswick amended the Designated Materials Regulation under the Clean Environment Act to establish an EPR Program for packaging and paper in the province. In 2022, Circular Materials developed and consulted on a New Brunswick Stewardship Plan for Packaging and Paper on behalf of brand owners obligated by the Regulation under the Act. Recycle New Brunswick approved the Stewardship Plan in May 2023.