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Packaging bill on hold–for now

Bill 90, the legislation that will eventually require industry to pay up to 50 percent of the cost for municipal re...


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January 30, 2002 by Canadian Plastics

Bill 90, the legislation that will eventually require industry to pay up to 50 percent of the cost for municipal recycling programs in Ontario, did not pass during the fall session of the Ontario Legislature. The Bill, however, which has been amended many times in the committee stage, is scheduled for a second reading when the Legislature convenes this spring.
The delay has increased speculation about the Bill’s ultimate fate, as the spring session will coincide with a leadership change within the Progressive Conservative Party. Among the leading candidates to head the party and become the province’s next Premier is environment minister Elizabeth Witmer, who has been a strong supporter of the Bill. Other potential candidates for the party leadership are believed to be less enamored of the Bill, and its potential impact on industry and jobs. The net cost of recycling programs in Ontario is estimated to be roughly $50 million per year.
"There’s a high degree of uncertainty as to what the actual cost of this Bill is going to be to individual companies," says Larry Dworkin of the Packaging Association of Canada, noting that in one scenario, costs could be passed down from brand owners of packaging to processors and suppliers of packaging. Dworkin says that PAC is urging the government to conduct a complete economic analysis of the Bill’s impact before passing it.
A similar packaging bill is before the Quebec Legislature, although, as initially written, it will require the packaging industry to pay an even higher percentage of municipal recycling costs.