Author: Barry Friesen
Today, the Ontario government passed Bill 151, the Waste-Free Ontario Act. Additional details are available here.
As you read through this announcement, you may wonder how this might impact our programs and the stewards who make our programs happen.
Bill 151 will not have an immediate impact on our current suite of programs that manage empty commercial pesticide and fertilizer containers, obsolete agricultural pesticides and animal health medications and empty seed and pesticide bags.
However, the Act is described as ‘enabling legislation’. This means it allows for new regulations that could change the way existing stewardship programs are delivered, including the programs we currently operate voluntarily in Ontario. It may also introduce requirements for new products and packaging in agriculture.
As you know, we take a very proactive approach to all aspects of our programs. This is one of the reasons that the empty container program is a model for extended producer responsibility.
We monitor regulations and consultations to ensure that our programs are compliant with relevant regulations. We also work with provinces to encourage regulatory frameworks that support strong voluntary programs like ours.
We will stay on top of any new developments with respect to this new piece of legislation.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further.
Barry Friesen is general manager of CleanFARMS Inc., a not-for-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural waste.
Barry is synonymous with innovative recycling and waste management. His résumé includes senior positions with Product Care Association, the Niagara Region and the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. Barry is a founding Board member of the Canadian Product Stewardship Council, a Board member of the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association and is active in his local Rotary Club.