What We Do

The British Columbia Product Stewardship Council (BCPSC) is a coalition of regional districts that contributes to the success of extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs in BC.

What is extended producer responsibility?

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is an environmental management strategy guided by the principle that whoever designs, produces, sells, or uses a product takes responsibility for minimizing that product’s environmental impact. Costs are absorbed by producers and consumers, not taxpayers, often through a deposit or levy that’s charged at the time of purchase.

For EPR to be successful, all producers must:

  • be treated equitably with no cross-subsidization of product types
  • set and achieve positive environmental results, with the goal being continual improvement
  • demonstrate accountability and transparency (e.g., provide financial statements that are independently audited and publicly available).

Why is product stewardship important?

By diverting recyclable materials from the landfill, we can reduce the need to develop new landfill sites. The diverted materials can be reused or recycled, thereby saving raw materials, and saving the energy needed to produce new products.

Who’s responsible for what?

The product stewardship model includes several stakeholders working together to ensure that products no longer being used by consumers are managed in an environmentally responsible manner.

PRODUCERS: Typically, the product’s manufacturer, distributor, or brand owner develops a stewardship plan and implements a program to collect and recycle the product once it’s no longer usable. A producer can also appoint an agency to implement the plan and report on performance. Most producers redesign their products and associated packaging, making them easier to recycle.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT: The Ministry of Environment develops the legislation and regulations that product stewards must follow. It also approves stewardship plans, monitors stewards’ performance, and enforces compliance, where necessary.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Regional districts and/or municipalities may provide facilities or operational services for products to be collected or processed. They inform the public of the stewardship program, and cooperate with stewards by imposing bans on the landfilling of relevant products, when appropriate.

RETAILERS: Often members of stewardship programs themselves, retailers may collect consumer fees at the point of purchase on behalf of the producers. They may also provide consumers with information about the stewardship program, including deposits or fees charged, available refunds, and the location of the nearest collection facility.

CONSUMERS: Product purchasers are responsible for delivering end-of-life products to designated collection sites.

What products are collected in BC? 

Please see BCrecycles.ca for a current and comprehensive list.

For more information please use our contact page