Beverage Container Program Update

Government Industry Meeting
A videoconference meeting was organized by the Department of Environment (DELG) and alcoholic beverage distributors (Beer Canada, Craft Brewers Association of NB, Wine Growers Ass.). The purpose of this joint industry/government session was to prepare for the proposed amendment to the Beverage Containers Act (BCA), currently in the legislative approval process. The information meeting was also intended as a first general discussion on possible cooperation amongst distributor groups in New Brunswick.

Workshop on EPR
We received notice that the department is currently preparing a workshop on transitioning the beverage containers program to an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model. The workshop will feature a case study format using the British Columbia (Encorp Pacific) example. DELG hired a facilitator group (Pivot Consulting) to conduct this workshop and hopes to get participation from redemption centre operators, beverage industry and other stakeholder groups. Schedule for the workshop to be announced at a later date.

Redemption Centre Standards Working Group on hold
The Department of Environment requested that the Redemption Centre Standards Working Group put its activities on hold. This was in light of the pending changes coming to the Beverage Container Act (BCA). No further details were provided for when this process could resume.

DELG officials provided further information on the upcoming changes. Notably, that a consultation process with stakeholders on upcoming changes are to be announced soon. It was made clear that the intent of DELG is to transition the current program to an Extender Producer Responsibility (EPR) Program. It was further mentioned that the timeline for this transition to EPR would be April 2023.

Performance is priority

We cannot ignore the fact that the used beverage container (UBC) recovery performance in New Brunswick is low compared to similar programs in Canada. The Restructuring and Modernization Plan we are proposing addresses this issue and sets ambitious targets: reaching a UBC recovery rate target of 75% in 5 years with the goal of 80% or higher within 10 years.

To achieve such high recovery rates, we propose that the BCP adopts Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principles, where the beverage product industry assume full responsibility for the management of all post-consumer deposit-bearing beverage containers.

In line with EPR principles, our plan incorporates a Container Recycling Fee (CRF) to ensure the system can be financially sustainable and to fund investments needed to achieve high UBC recovery targets. The CRF will be structured to ensure each material stream becomes self-funded based on costs and revenues of that material.

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