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Packaging fees--closer than you think? (sidebar)

Brand owner concerns

Although industry is generally willing to take on some degree of financial responsibility for waste diversion and recovery, a key concern among those who will be obligated as stewards is cost planning. This is evident in the comments submitted to Stewardship Ontario on its proposed Blue Box Program Plan. For example, Maple Leaf Foods of Toronto, Ontario points out in its comments to Stewardship Ontario that while the additional costs could be passed on to customers in the future, many brand owners are currently bound by yearly contracts and cannot pass on costs until contracts are renegotiated for the following year. They advocate moving the date of obligation to the beginning of 2004. However, municipalities facing rising collection and recycling costs are demanding that the program start as soon as possible.

The issue of cost containment has been the subject of many comments delivered to Stewardship Ontario. While the funding formula proposed in the Blue Box Program Plan does offer some incentive for municipalities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their programs, industry wishes to have a greater role in encouraging efficiency of recovery systems and expansion of recycling markets. Additionally, it seeks a guarantee that its obligation will be capped at 50% of total recycling program costs.

See the story that goes with this sidebar: Packaging fees—closer than you think?

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