FREDERICTON (GNB) – An extended producer responsibility program for packaging and printed paper will be developed by the provincial government in collaboration with Recycle NB and stakeholders.

“New Brunswick will benefit from the implementation of this program because it increases recycling opportunities, diverts material from landfills and puts the onus on large producers to reduce their packaging,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Jeff Carr. “Having vibrant and sustainable communities is one of our government’s six key priority areas. Our environment and our communities will benefit from this program because it will lead to more recycling of a wider range of items.”

Similar programs are in place in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, representing about 80 per cent of the Canadian population.

“Extended producer responsibility is an environmental policy that gives industry the opportunity to accept its obligation to provide for the end-of-life management of the products it produces,” said Recycle NB CEO Frank LeBlanc. “We applaud the provincial government for moving towards a made-in-New Brunswick program that will see a 21st-century waste management solution.”

It is estimated that New Brunswickers are already diverting 30 per cent of packaging and printed paper through existing voluntary curbside recycling programs. An extended producer responsibility program is expected to divert more than 60 per cent of this material.

“An extended producer responsibility program for packaging and printed paper will help reduce waste and reduce strain on our landfills,” said Wayne Sturgeon, president of the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick. “It will save local governments money without costing our residents more in taxes. And since many products are priced nationally, New Brunswickers are already paying without getting the benefits.”

Currently, there are extended producer responsibility programs in New Brunswick for tires, paint, oil and glycol products and electronics.

Having vibrant and sustainable communities is one of the government’s key priorities. More information about the government’s priorities and measurements is available online.