The Recycling Council of Ontario
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Goals & Guiding Principles

RCO believes that policies and programs should be evaluated for their environmental and economic sustainability using the following guiding principles.


1. Full Cost Accounting
RCO believes that the cost of goods and services should be determined according to the principles of full cost accounting. Full cost accounting means that goods and services are priced to include their true environmental costs from all phases of production, transportation, distribution, use, reuse, recycling, composting and disposal.


2. Shared Responsibility

RCO believes that responsibility for minimizing environmental and economic impacts must be shared by all parties that benefit from and/or impact on the production, distribution, use, and/or disposal of products and packaging or delivery of services. In sharing responsibility, the parties should have the authority and ability to influence those policies and practices that affect them.


3. Regulatory and Legislative Initiatives

RCO believes that governments should intervene using regulatory and/or legislative mechanisms where voluntary initiatives are not in place or fail to adequately protect the environment.


4. Non-Regulatory Initiatives
RCO supports non-regulatory environmental protection and remediation initiatives implemented on a voluntary basis providing there are mechanisms to monitor performance and that there are consequences for non participants and/or failure to meet established performance standards.


5. Level Playing Field
RCO believes that government(s) should support environmental policies and practices that ensure equitable participation through the introduction of incentives, disincentives or if necessary, regulations.


6. Economic Instruments

The RCO believes that financial incentives/economic instruments should be used to encourage the development and implementation of environmentally sound programs and practices. Moneys generated through these instruments should be used to support such programs and practices.


7. Harmonization

RCO believes that federal/provincial/municipal environmental policies and programs should be harmonized where possible and practical. Any harmonized approach should meet or exceed the highest environmental protection standards currently in use.


8. Accountability
The RCO believes that participants in both voluntary and regulatory environmental programs and practices should be continually monitored and held accountable for meeting established goals, targets or standards. Monitoring data and analyses should be publicly available.


9. Communication and Education

RCO believes that stakeholders should be adequately informed and educated as to their respective roles and responsibilities in environmental programs and the results and effectiveness of their participation in these programs.


10. Public Participation
RCO believes that all stakeholders should have the opportunity to participate in the development of environmental policies and the monitoring of environmental programs and practices. RCO believes that adequate resources should be made available to ensure such participation.


11. Operational Efficiency
RCO believes that environmental policies and practices should promote the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness through the use of 'Best Available Technology' and bench-marking.

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