Canadian Tax Journal
Policy Forum: Should Extended Producer Responsibility Programs Use Eco-Fee-Included Pricing?
Duncan R.W. Bury
A new article on extended producer responsibility and eco-fees by RCO-member Duncan Bury has been published in the Vol. 58, Iss. 4 of the Canadian Tax Journal. The article will be of interest to any who have been following the evolution of eco-fees and EPR in Ontario over the past year.
From the Abstract:
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs shift the responsibility for the operation and funding of end-of-life waste management programs for a wide variety of problematic and hazardous wastes and products from municipalities and taxpayers to producers. With the exception of a couple of programs in New Brunswick and Quebec, which are described in the article, the majority of these programs are funded through the use of an eco-fee-excluded pricing mechanism. Eco fees are collected at the point of purchase and are remitted to producer responsibility organizations, which have the legal obligation to manage waste and end-of-life products.
The use of eco fees that are visible to the consumer has been controversial in the environmental and waste management policy communities, where there has been debate as to what is the best EPR financial mechanism to encourage producers to internalize the costs of recycling and end-of-life management and to otherwise improve product environmental performance. The debate about the visibility of eco fees has parallels in the debate that has been explored in the pages of this journal (and elsewhere) regarding tax-inclusive versus tax-exclusive pricing for the goods and service tax/ harmonized sales tax.