Chamber welcomes recycling changes

The Summerland Chamber of Commerce applauds the province for amending recycling legislation.

The Summerland Chamber of Commerce applauds the provincial government for listening to B.C.’s Chamber network and amending a recycling regulation that was causing substantial concern among businesses so that it will impact fewer than one per cent of B.C.’s businesses.

“This is a relief to our local business community,” said Arlene Fenrich,  president of the Summerland Chamber. “This change exempts the majority of our local businesses, including all of our Mom and Pop shops, from new costs and red tape.”

The regulation targets packaging and printed paper and is scheduled to take effect in May.

The province has announced an exemption for any B.C. business which has annual revenues of less than $1 million; less than one tonne of packaging and printed paper produced annually or a single point of retail sale and not supplied by or operated as part of a franchise, chain or under a banner.

Fewer than 3,000 businesses in the province will fall under the regulation, out of more than 385,000.

Fenrich said the Summerland Chamber supports the principle of extended producer responsibility, which aligns with B.C. business values, but cautioned that such programs need to be implemented carefully to avoid unintended consequences.

“This exemption correctly balances environmental goals with business needs,” Fenrich said. “We applaud the B.C. government for responding to businesses’ concerns and limiting the scope of the program, appropriately, to B.C.’s largest PPP producers.”

The chamber network throughout B.C. raised the alarm about the regulation last summer after businesses across the province were contacted about coming new obligations and fees by Multi Material BC, the agency charged with producing a stewardship plan under the regulation.

“It became clear that this regulation would have unintended fallout for businesses, and particularly small businesses, across B.C.,” said Fenrich. Backed by local chambers, the BC Chamber of Commerce worked extensively with the province and MMBC on a solution.

“Today’s announcement is the fruit of those labours: A re-tooled regulation that achieves B.C.’s environmental goals, while protecting the vast majority of B.C. businesses from new costs and red tape,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber.

Winter commended the province for responding to the needs of businesses.

“This exemption is a testament to a responsive government that’s serious about its commitment to businesses and to cutting red tape,” Winter said.