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A sigh of relief in Rossland
The province’s decision to amend a recycling regulation causing substantial concern among the business community has been met with much relief by the local business community, says the Rossland Chamber of Commerce’s co-executive director.
Julie Parker said the chamber applauded the province for listening to B.C.’s chamber network and amending a recycling regulation so that it will impact less than one per cent of B.C.’s businesses.
“Every business has a responsibility to recycle however, painting all businesses and certainly sizes with the same brush and cost was an irresponsible first choice in this new program,” she said.
The regulation targets packaging and printed paper (PPP) and is slated to go into force in May.
The B.C. government has announced that it will enshrine in regulation an exemption for any B.C. business that meets any of the following criteria:
• annual revenues of less than $1 million;
• less than one tonne of packaging and printed paper produced annually and/or
• a single point of retail sale (and not supplied by or operated as part of a franchise, chain or under a banner).
That means that less than 3,000 businesses in the province will be captured by the regulation, out of more than 385,000.
Parker said the Rossland Chamber of Commerce supported the principle of extended producer responsibility (EPR), which aligned with B.C. business values, but cautioned that EPR programs need to be implemented carefully to avoid unintended consequences.
Although the Rossland Chamber supports any effort or program to recycle and reduce, said Parker, the actual target businesses were less than one per cent of total B.C. businesses.
“They represented about 3,000 of approximately 385,000 businesses throughout B.C. and, yes, they should be held accountable for any waste and environmental impact they make now and in the future,” she said.
The chamber network throughout B.C. raised the alarm about the regulation last summer after businesses across the province were contacted about coming new obligations and fees by Multi Material BC (MMBC), the agency charged with producing a stewardship plan under the regulation.
Backed by local chambers, the BC Chamber of Commerce worked with the B.C. government and MMBC to hammer out a way forward that avoided a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
John Winter, president and CEO of the B.C. Chamber, commended the B.C. government for actively listening to, and responding to, businesses’ needs.
“This exemption is a testament to a responsive government that’s serious about its commitment to businesses and to cutting red tape,” Winter said.
Winter also commended local chambers throughout B.C. for helping drive the solution.
“Our local chambers have worked heroically on this file, pushing hard for the on-the-ground needs of B.C. businesses,” Winter said. “Our partnership with local Chambers, such as Rossland Chamber of Commerce, has been crucial to achieving this victory.”