The Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce applauds the B.C. government for listening to B.C.’s chamber network and amending a recycling regulation that was causing substantial concern among businesses so that it will impact less that one per cent of B.C.’s businesses.
“This is a huge relief to our local business community,” said James Wilson, executive director of the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This change exempts the majority of our local businesses, including all of our mom-and-pop shops, from new costs and red tape.”
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.
Wilson noted that the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce supports the principle of extended producer responsibility (EPR), which aligns with B.C. business values, but cautioned that EPR programs need to be implemented carefully to avoid unintended consequences.
“This exemption correctly balances environmental goals with business needs,” Wilson said. “We applaud the B.C. government for responding to businesses’ concerns and limiting the scope of the program, appropriately, to B.C.’s largest PPP producers.”
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.
“It became clear that this regulation would have unintended fallout for businesses, and particularly small businesses, across B.C.,” said Wilson. “As a chamber network, we knew we needed to roll up our sleeves, get to work and fix this thing.”
Backed by local chambers, the BC Chamber of Commerce worked extensively with the B.C. government and MMBC to hammer out a way forward that avoided a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
“Today’s announcement is the fruit of those labours: A re-tooled regulation that achieves B.C.’s environmental goals, while protecting the vast majority of B.C. businesses from new costs and red tape,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber.
Winter 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 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 Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been crucial to achieving this victory.”
The BC Chamber and its network of local chambers will carefully monitor the implementation of this regulation, to ensure that any further issues are quickly identified.