‘Steward’ is the word used to describe a company or organization that is obligated by the BC Recycling Regulation to manage the recovery of its packaging and/or printed paper (PPP) from residential households.

A steward is an organization or company that is resident in BC and is either a brand owner, first importer or franchisor that supplies obligated packaging and/or printed paper to residents (household consumers) in BC.

We encourage you to review Section 1.6 of our Guidebook for Stewards to determine if your organization or company is a steward in BC and should join Recycle BC in order to fulfil the obligations of the BC Recycling Regulation.

A steward is a company or organization that can answer yes to all three of the following questions*:

  • Does your organization or company have residency** in BC?
  • Does your organization or company supply any designated packaging and/or paper into the BC residential marketplace?
  • Is your organization or company responsible for supplying the designated packaging and/or printed paper as the brand owner, franchisor, or first importer of packaging and/or printed paper?

*unless you meet the criteria below for the small business exemption

** unless you are a franchisor outside BC with franchisees in BC

Steward Responsibility

The Government of BC has transitioned responsibility for the end-of-life management of packaging and printed paper from local governments and their taxpayers to industry. Under this extended producer responsibility (EPR) approach, stewards assume responsibility for the collection and processing of recycling their packaging and/or printed paper when consumers are finished with them. The Regulation represents the first 100% industry-led steward responsibility program for packaging and printed paper in Canada.

Recovery Targets

Stewards are obligated to recover 75% of packaging and printed paper supplied to residential consumers within a reasonable period of time.

Stewards’ Legal Obligation in BC

In 2011, BC amended the Regulation to require stewards that sell packaging and printed paper into the BC residential marketplace to file a stewardship plan with the BC Ministry of Environment (MOE) by November 19, 2012. This requirement is laid out in Schedule 5 of the Regulation of the Environmental Management Act (2004).

Under this requirement, a steward had two options:

  • submit its own plan by November 19, 2012, or

Packaging is…

Under the Environmental Management Act, “packaging is a material, substance or object that is used to protect, contain or transport a commodity or product, or is attached to a commodity or product or its container for the purpose of marketing or communicating information about the commodity or product.” Beverage containers, with the exception of milk containers, continue to be managed under the provincial deposit return program. Milk containers are included in MMBC’s Stewardship Plan.

Printed paper is…

Under Section 5 of the Regulation, printed paper is defined as “paper that is not packaging, but is printed with text or graphics as a medium for communicating information, and includes telephone directories, but does not include other types of bound reference books, bound literary books, or bound text books.”