New Brunswick Beverage Containers Program will Operate Under An Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Model as of April 1, 2024.
On April 1, 2024, the New Brunswick Beverage Containers Program (BCP) will migrate to an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program, which will be governed by New Brunswick’s Designated Materials Regulation (Clean Environment Act), and fall under the oversight of Recycle NB.
Brand Owners Must Register with Recycle NB for the New EPR Beverage Containers Program
The Designated Materials Regulation states that no “brand owner” shall sell, offer for sale or distribute a beverage container to a person in the Province of New Brunswick on or after April 1, 2024, unless the brand owner is registered with Recycle NB.
REGULATION 2008-54 defines a brand owner as a person who:
“(i) is a manufacturer of beverage containers,
(ii) is a distributor of beverage containers,
(iii) is an owner or licensee of a registered or unregistered trademark under which beverage containers are sold, offered for sale or distributed, or
(iv) if beverage containers are imported into the Province, is the first person to sell the beverage containers.
More information, as well as a helpful diagram regarding the definition of “brand owner,” is available on Recycle NB’s website.
Brand owners may choose a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) to operate a recycling program for beverage containers on their behalf. The PRO will be required to develop a stewardship plan for the collection and management of beverage containers throughout New Brunswick.
Encorp Atlantic/Atlantique (“Encorp”) is this PRO.
All brand owners are thus encouraged to list Encorp Atlantic as their agent on Recycle NB’s Brand Owner Registration Form. Encorp will follow up with official agreements and information in the fall of 2023 to ensure all registered brand owners have Encorp as their designated PRO for the new EPR Beverage Containers Program that starts April 1, 2024.
Encorp’s Stewardship Plan for the New EPR Beverage Containers Program
As the official PRO that will operate the new EPR Beverage Containers Program, Encorp recently met its obligation of submitting a 5-year stewardship plan to Recycle NB, the umbrella organization that oversees all designated material EPR programs in New Brunswick, as required by legislation, by August 1, 2023. The stewardship plan is currently being reviewed for approval by Recycle NB, and we will inform all stakeholders once it is approved and available to be consulted.
Beverage Container Deposits & Fees in the New EPR Beverage Containers Program
The Designated Materials Regulation requires the new EPR Beverage Containers Program to move to a fullback deposit/refund structure on April 1, 2024. More details will be confirmed by Encorp this fall on what the deposit amounts will be per container type. Still, it is possible at this time to confirm that there is no planned increase to current deposit amounts. Note that under the current “half-back system” on all containers except refillables, the non-refunded part of the deposit for taxable beverages is subject to HST. Once the system moves to a fullback, the deposit will not be subject to HST.
As with other fullback deposit models in Canada (i.e., British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan), a container recycling fee (CRF) will be required to cover the shortfall between revenues from unredeemed deposits and material value and the cost to run the system, especially as container recovery rates increase. Details are as follows:
- Brand owners may or may not choose to pass on the CRF (once instituted).
- Unlike other provinces, but as is the case with every other product stewardship program in NB, recycling fees will have to be internalized.
- The deposit paid by consumers will not be considered the fee, given that the customer can be refunded the deposit. Therefore, the deposit must be shown as a line item on the Point-of-Sale (POS) receipt.
- The mandate for internalized fees does not apply to business-to-business (B2B) invoices.
- The presence of the CRF will be allowed to be mentioned on shelf talkers and at POS, but must not be shown as a line item with the subtotal, HST, etc.
- More details will be confirmed by Encorp this fall on what the CRF amounts will be per container type.
- Once this CRF is implemented, it will be subject to HST.
Important Steps/Timeline for Brand Owners Regarding the New EPR Beverage Containers Program
1- Before August 1, 2023, brand owners are required to register with Recycle NB.
(Brand owners who have not yet registered can still do so here.)
2-In October 2023, Encorp will send all brand owners who have registered with Recycle NB for the new EPR Beverage Containers Program a Brand Owner Information Package (including the deposit amounts and estimated CRF ranges as well as agreements to review/sign designating Encorp as their PRO/Agent for the new EPR Program).
At this time, brand owners will also receive an invitation to participate in information webinars. The information package will be sent by mid-late October, and the webinars will be held within the following two weeks to give enough time to review the information package’s content before participating in the webinar.
3-In the winter of 2024, Encorp will issue follow-up communications with registered brand owners to prepare them for the implementation of CRFs and the new deposit/refund structure.
Information will include user login/password information and training on navigating a new portal on Encorp’s website to remit deposits/CRFs, as well as details on important dates and other information related to the launch of the new EPR BCP (product registration, when to remit the first deposits/CRFs under the new EPR Program, reporting periods, etc.).