CPIA continues to lobby against shift in recycling levy
New Stewardship Ontario procedures that could force packaging suppliers to pay recycling levies could put many of t...
New Stewardship Ontario procedures that could force packaging suppliers to pay recycling levies could put many of the small-medium enterprises out of business, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) says.
The CPIA is in the midst of an extensive lobbying effort to press Stewardship Ontario to stick with original plans, and make brand owners and importers responsible for costs associated with the province’s Blue Box recycling program.
The amount of the levy would “essentially wipe out the profit margin on high-volume commodity items,” says Cathy Cirko, CPIA’s vice-president, environment and health.
Stewardship Ontario’s board decided during a Feb. 20 meeting to institute procedures for service packaging suppliers to “voluntarily” elect to become stewards for their retail customers.
In fact, the announcement came as a “complete surprise,” she adds. Stewardship Ontario offered a mere five days to comment on the proposal when it was unveiled in February, and it is expected to make a decision by next month.
To compound matters, the related levies will also increase in July. Industry’s original $62-million share of the Blue Box program was based on estimates, and accurate reporting has seen that cost balloon to $84 million per year, Cirko says. The plastics industry’s share will jump 43 per cent to $23 million, rising from 6.69 to 9.61 cents per kilogram on a cost per kilogram basis.
Stewardship Ontario’s proposal also does nothing to address what packaging is used or how much is used, because downstream customers make those decisions, Cirko adds, noting that successful recycling programs also have to be analyzed so Blue Box officials can adopt better practices.
“We are very concerned about the future escalation in the cost of that program, and the lack of focus by Stewardship Ontario to control those costs.”