The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is sounding the alarm over an EPR proposal from the Nova Scotia government that would introduce a costly new recycling tax for small businesses.
On its wesbite, CFIB states that the costs of recycling or disposal for a long list of designated products would become the responsibility of the businesses who sell them – without any corresponding drop in the property taxes that already fund these services.
CFIB fears a red tape disaster, and notes problems experienced in British Columbia as that province expands its own stewardship programs.
“From the need to weigh, categorize, and track every single piece of packaging that goes out the door to the requirement for each impacted business owner to develop a plan outlining how each product could be diverted from a landfill, this proposal saddles business with an entirely new, time-consuming set of reporting requirements,” says the CFIB.
CFIB says most Nova Scotia businesses have fewer than eight employees, which would complicate the logistics of meeting any new steward performance standards.
In terms of shifting costs from the comsumer to brand owners, CFIB says it has concerns because Nova Scotia is already an expensive place to do business, with taxes among the highest in the country.
The discussion paper proposes changes in seven areas:
• Product stewardship
• Disposal bans and approval requirements
• Used tire management program
• Removal of the requirement for regional solid waste management plans
• Clarity on the rules for energy from waste
• Improved enforceability of the solid waste regulation
• Beverage container deposit-refund program
Here is the full list of products that Nova Scotia Environment recommends to be covered within a framework for product stewardship:
Products containing mercury
Vehicle fluid products and the containers
Oil, oil filters, oil containers
Paint and coating products and their containers
Paint thinners and their containers
Single-use pressurized containers
Pharmaceuticals and sharps, including syringes
Domestic pesticides and their containers
Small quantity fuels and their containers—camping oil, lighter fluids, etc.