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Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the principle that the companies that put products on the market should be responsible for the full life-cycle of those products and packaging.

The Province of Ontario sets out waste regulations and policies - this includes regulations that make producers and companies fully or partially responsible for the waste created by the products they sell.

The good news is that there are a number of EPR, or Stewardship, programs in Ontario. Unfortunately, many types of waste, or many sources of waste aren't covered. 

TEA has been monitoring Provincial policy for many years, and we regularly coordinate other environmental and health organizations to urge the government to consider environmental impacts of waste policy.

Read our October 2011 Report on EPR - Don't Trash our Environment: Why Companies Need to be Part of Ontario's Waste Solution

This report outlines what EPR is, how we deal with waste in Ontario now, and why companies need to be part of the solution. 


EPR won't happen unless we push for it. 
With rare exceptions like the Beer Store, most companies have done nothing to practice EPR. In other countries, governments have required companies to practice EPR. To date, provincial and federal governments in Canada have opted for voluntary measures that have resulted in very few, new EPR initiatives.

Below are some of the things you can do to promote EPR.

1. Use your purchasing power.

Choose products that have minimal packaging, or that have recyclable or reusable packaging. Support businesses that are trying to reduce packaging.

  • Choose recyclable: clear plastic egg cartons, and fruit and vegetable containers are just a few examples of packaging that can't be recycled in Toronto.
  • Avoid wasteful containers like Tetra Pak cartons that are hard to recycle, and buy local VQA wine in a glass bottle instead.
  • Contact retailers and manufacturers of your favourite brands - let them know that you want them to do their part to reduce waste and ensure that the products they put on the market are handled safely.

2. Talk to your elected representatives - your City Councillor, MPP and MP.

The voluntary approach to EPR has not worked. It's time governments enact regulations that promote Extended Producer Responsibility, so that all industry are required to commit to EPR and meet important environmental targets.

  • Ask your Councillor to push the Province and Federal governments to move forward on EPR
  • Write to your Provincial MPP and tell them that your waste fees shouldn't be subsidizing wasteful habits of companies. Ask them to review the Waste Diversion Act and move forward with full EPR in Ontario
  • Tell your Federal MP that setting national EPR standards and regulations is a priority for you.