Coalition calls for halt to recycling program plans

A coalition of businesses has organized some push back against regulatory changes involving the recycling of printed-paper and packaging.

A coalition of business stakeholder groups representing several major sectors of the British Columbia economy announced the launch of a massive province-wide advertising campaign in 130 provincial newspapers to protest regulatory changes involving the recycling of printed-paper and packaging (PPP).

The campaign calls on British Columbians to contact Premier Christy Clark and ask her to rethink a plan, which turns over B.C.’s Blue Box recycling programs to an Ontario-based group governed by large multinational corporations.

“For months British Columbia business owners have tried unsuccessfully to convince Minister of Environment Mary Polak to rethink the flawed plan her ministry put forth,” says Mike Klassen, B.C. director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “Now business groups representing significant parts of B.C.’s economy have come together to ask the premier to step in to prevent this new red tape that will kill jobs and cause many businesses to fail.”

Newspapers Canada and a group of eight business associations representing tens of thousands of B.C. small businesses and their employees in the agriculture, newspaper publishing, landscaping, printing and custom manufacturing, retail, wholesale, food, and waste collection sectors are launching a first series of ads to inform the public about B.C.’s new recycling plan. By running in every edition of 130 newspapers across the province and on social media—tagged #RethinkItBC—it will be one of the largest public awareness campaigns ever mounted in B.C.’s history.

“We are not disputing that the ultimate goal of the government to maximize recycling of paper and packaging to reduce materials going into the waste stream,” said Marilynn Knoch, executive director, British Columbia Printing and Imaging Association. “B.C. businesses are already working to make our province get even more clean and green, so let’s start talking to people from B.C. about how to achieve this. First we must delay the May 19th start of the legislation, and then get businesses back to the table to share their ideas with the government.”

The program set out by Multi Materials BC (MMBC) will annex most municipal and regional district curbside/ discarded material collection and will cause great harm to the economy: in job losses, business failures and increased costs for B.C. households.

The confusing Ministry of Environment- endorsed program creates a veritable monopoly to control much of B.C.’s currently thriving and competitive waste recycling industry. MMBC is governed by a board made up of international business interests with Ontario/Quebec representatives from: Unilever Canada, Metro Inc., Walmart, Tim Hortons Inc., Loblaw Companies Limited, Coca Cola Refreshments Canada and Procter & Gamble.