Oversight for Extended Producer Responsibility

Improving recycling in Nova Scotia for a more sustainable future

EPR Oversight Program

Nova Scotia is joining other provinces in adapting a new approach to recycling that will result in a more efficient process for curbside recycling and will enable a greener future for Nova Scotians. 

This new approach is called Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging, Paper Products, and Packaging-like products (or EPR for PPP). It will shift responsibility for curbside recycling programs from municipalities to the producers of packaging and paper products. Under the new program, producers will have to meet recycling targets that, over time, will encourage more eco-friendly packaging and reduce single-use plastics.

This program will standardize recycling programs across Nova Scotia, reduce the amount of waste disposed in landfills, and incentivize producers to reduce consumer packaging. EPR moves the physical and financial obligation of collecting, sorting, and processing curbside recyclables to producers and away from municipal governments and taxpayers.

In December 2021, the provincial government committed to EPR for PPP as part of the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act. The specific regulations for the program were announced August 2, 2023 – signaling the start of the transition.

Divert NS was appointed by the province to administer and oversee the EPR for PPP program, which includes compliance with the waste diversion targets and enforcing the obligations of:

  • Producers: Companies that supply materials that are typically collected through municipal blue bag programs in Nova Scotia. These designated materials include packaging, paper products or packaging-like products comprised of paper, glass, metal or plastic, or a combination of these materials.
  • Producer Responsibility Organization: An organization that acts on behalf of the various packaging producers by, among other things, developing and operating a common collection system for recyclable materials.
  • Processors: Organizations that process packaging, paper products or packaging-like products from curbside recycling programs that was supplied to a consumer in Nova Scotia.
  • Municipalities:  A city, an incorporated town, a municipality of a county or district or a regional municipality that operates a curbside recycling, or blue bag, collection program.

Transitioning to the new industry-led program will take two years, so a phased approach will be used to ensure a smooth transition.

The first phase focuses on preparing the foundations for the program. Producers of packaging, paper products and packaging-like products can now register.

Data collection from municipalities in Nova Scotia is also underway and aims to gather information about existing curbside recycling programs.

The deadline for producers and municipalities to register with Divert NS is January 1, 2024.

For more information or resources to support municipal or producer registration, please click on the buttons above.