Spruce Grove-Stony Plain representative Searle Turton recently presented a motion in the legislature urging the state government to examine the feasibility of implementing extended producer responsibility across the province.
EPR Scheme for Alberta
The motion received unanimous support on Oct. 26.
“It was a massive win for both recycling and the environment and I was pretty excited to see it move forward,” said Turton. “Alberta is the only province in Western Canada that does not have EPR currently and only the second province in Canada that doesn’t have it so we’re definitely late coming to this approach, but better late than never.”
Turton said that EPR extends the producer’s responsibility for a product to the end of its life and pointed to examples including those of tyre recycling fees or the five cent deposit you pay on cans, that come from an EPR program.
Turton asked that the government looks at the EPR program for all products that are produced here in the province of Alberta, including agricultural plastics.
Having unanimous support in the legislature from both political parties – the UCP and NDP, he said indicates the desire to have such a program implemented.
“I was a big supporter of this as a city councillor,” he added. “I know that I’ve worked very closely with city councillors in Stony Plain and Spruce Grove as well as the entire capital region, to work on the final wording for this motion which resulted in it being unanimously supported in the legislature a couple of weeks ago.”
Turton noted work that still needs to be done and said it could take several months to finalise the process.
“Now that the motion has passed, the government will begin that process of meeting with stakeholders. I am though still anticipating that a more widespread EPR approach will take place in the latter half of 2021 but there’s a lot of work to take place before that,” Turton concluded.