New Brunswick’s transition to extended producer responsibility for packaging and paper expands across province 

Posted on

Today, Circular Materials, a national not-for-profit producer-led organization, joined Recycle NB and the Department of Environment and Local Government at the Capital Regional Service Commission to celebrate the expanded transition to extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging and paper products in New Brunswick.

As of May 1, 80 per cent of the province is now transitioned to the EPR framework where brand owners – those that supply packaging and paper to consumers – are fully financially and operationally responsible for the end-of-life recycling of their materials.

New Brunswick is the first Atlantic province to transition to EPR which 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 to be used again as recycled content in new packaging and products.

“We are excited to have reached this important milestone today in New Brunswick that will enhance the recycling experience for residents and contribute significantly to more materials being recycled,” said Jeff MacCallum, Managing Director, Atlantic at Circular Materials.“We have reached this critical point with the support of our partners, namely the Department of Environment and Local Government and Recycle NB, along with the municipalities, First Nations, haulers and processing facilities in the province. The new partnership with the Eastern Recyclers Association’s network of redemption centers enables residents to recycle additional materials, such as glass, flexible plastics, beverage cardboard and white polystyrene foam, which were not previously part of the recycling program.”

Recycle NB is the agency responsible for designated materials in the province and oversees the packaging and paper products program. “Packaging and paper products represent a large portion of our annual household waste, and much of it is recyclable,” said Frank LeBlanc, Chief Executive Officer of Recycle NB. “We have worked with Circular Materials to come up with a stewardship plan that will not only increase the types of materials collected in the province, but also reduce the amount of packaging being landfilled, ultimately leading to better environmental outcomes.”

The program kick-started last November under the Designated Materials Regulation. The transition for existing residential curbside completes in November 2024 and will result in improved recycling programs within each region. Circular Materials will expand services in 2025 and provide services in public spaces in 2027.

Quick Facts:

The program is operating under the Designated Materials Regulation and as per the approved New Brunswick Stewardship Plan for Packaging and Paper. Given the size and scope of the program, it is being launched in two phases.

Phase one regions representing 47 entities, transitioned to EPR 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 transitioning to EPR 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)

*24 entities are beginning their transition to EPR today.