19 March 2014
BCPIA battles B.C. blue box program
SURREY, BC—The British Columbia Printing and Imaging Association (BCPIA) has joined a coalition of businesses and associations in a fight against forthcoming recycling regulations.

The pending program is designed to shift responsibility and recycling costs from the province's taxpayers, over to the producers of the materials that end up in recycling bins. An industry group called Multi-Materials B.C. (MMBC) will oversee the program when it is implemented in May.

New recycling regulations affect producers of newspapers and inserts, catalogues, magazines, general use paper, envelopes, corrugated cardboard and more

The coalition says job losses will follow and businesses will be mired in red tape. BCPIA executive director Marilynn Knoch says the regulations were woefully designed without key input from local voices.

"There was no consultation whatsoever with most of the stakeholders in British Columbia," she said, explaining that the MMBC is comprised of Ontario/Quebec representatives from large international companies. Unilever Canada, Walmart, Tim Hortons, Coca Cola and Procter & Gamble are among the companies on board.

Knoch disputes claims that the program does not concern the printing industry, saying that the extra fees incurred by B.C. producers will result in cutbacks on printing, and that regulation loopholes could prompt companies to instead source printers in Alberta and have products mailed in to B.C. consumers.

According to info on the BCPIA website, the fees set for B.C. are significantly more exorbitant than those established in similar programs in Ontario and Manitoba. Alan Langdon, managing director of MMBC, told the Globe & Mail that the discrepancies are due to government subsidies in other provinces.

In response to the MMBC's plan, BCPIA along with other business associations and companies in agriculture, publishing, manufacturing, landscaping, wholesale, food, retail and waste collection have banded together for a campaign called #RethinkItBC. The public awareness drive includes social media discussion and ads in 130 of the province's newspapers.
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