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March 11,2014 The Tri Cities Now

Coquitlam businessman Ken Plumb says consumers will see their grocery bills soar under new recycling rules.
And he’s added his voice to a growing chorus of B.C. businesses opposed to the new recycling regime set to start on May 19.
“The government needs to hit the pause button — stop it right now,” said Plumb, president of Enterprise Paper.
“This is going to cost jobs and jobs are scarce enough as it is.”
Plumb’s company distributes packaging and other materials to bakeries, grocery stores and other firms in the Tri-Cities and the rest of B.C. He said the red tape already being generated by the new rules has forced him to hire two new employees just to keep track of every bag, paper tray or any of the other of his more than 10,000 different products.
He said the costs associated with the new recycling rules could boost a family’s grocery bill by up to 20 per cent as businesses pass the costs onto the consumer.
“If your grocery bill is $200, you’ll be paying $240,” said Plumb. “That’s a big increase, especially if you’re a low-income person — and people don’t even know it’s about to happen.”
Plumb is supporting a coalition of B.C. businesses asking Environment Minister Mary Polak and Premier Christy Clark to hit the pause button and rethink the contentious recycling rules they say will kill jobs and increase red tape.
“It’s better to hit the pause button and rethink this rather than being stuck with a bad law on May 19,” said Mike Klassen, B.C. director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “There are way too many businesses balking at it.”
Nine major business associations representing tens of thousands of B.C. small businesses and their employees have formed a coalition and launched a campaign to protest regulatory changes involving the recycling of printed-paper and packaging. The “Rethink It, BC!” campaign is launching a media and social media blitz with ads running in 130 newspapers across the province.
The new regulations shift the responsibility for paying for recycling packaging and other paper products from consumers to the products’ producers. Multi-Materials B.C. (MMBC), an Ontario-based industry group that includes grocery giant Loblaws, mega-retailer Walmart and the Tim Hortons fast food empire, runs the new program, scheduled to launch May 19.
Klassen said the rule changes will hurt thousands of businesses who will have to pass the recycling costs on to their customers. The Rethink It, BC! Coalition includes businesses in the agriculture, newspaper publishing, printing and custom manufacturing, retail, wholesale, food and waste collection sectors.
The coalition also includes the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association, whose membership includes the Glacier Media chain, which includes the Tri-Cities NOW.
Canadian Newspaper Association Chair Peter Kvarnstrom (also President, B.C. Operations, Glacier Media Group) said handing B.C.’s recycling programs over to an organization run out of Toronto makes no sense.
“B.C. is the first jurisdiction in the world where the government has abdicated its responsibility and handed the whole recycling system over to a group of multi-national organizations run from Bay Street,” said Kvarnstrom.
“Decisions on B.C.’s recycling programs are being made in offices in Toronto and local businesses have not been consulted.”
Ministry of Environment spokesperson David Crebo said the intent behind the MMBC program shifts the cost of recycling from taxpayers to the companies who produce the materials. It should provide incentives to industry to reduce packaging.
Some 86 communities have signed on for the MMBC program, which provides recycling services to more than 1.25 million households, or 73 per cent of B.C. residents. - See more at:
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