Opinion

Editorial: Recycling plan is problematic

Recycling is supposed to make the world a better place, but we’ll be a lot worse off under the province’s new producer-pay recycling system.

Businesses will be burdened by bills, companies will close and jobs will disappear – these are foreseeable outcomes if the provincial government doesn’t reconsider the regulations scheduled to come into effect next month.

In principle, producer-pay is a fine idea. Forcing manufacturers to reassess packaging will lead to environmentally friendly innovation. B.C. is just one teensy patch of Earth, but we can make a little bit of a difference, and little bits of a difference can add up to a greener, cleaner world.

That’s all well and good – but unfortunately, that’s not all we’re getting with Multi Material B.C.

MMBC’s per-kilogram fees are so out of touch with other jurisdictions as to seem arbitrary, and they’re problematic. In this day and age, goods are bought and sold in a global marketplace, and with this new recycling scheme, the government is consciously putting B.C. businesses at a competitive disadvantage. Successful companies are ones that are already finding efficiencies, and to demand more from them, well, at some point the province is asking too much.

Take community newspapers, for example. We manage to compete in a modern media environment. Amid the tweets and text messages flying around, there’s a place for local news in our community’s consciousness and on its coffee tables. Call us old-fashioned, but we still like words on paper, and if our ‘packaging’ becomes prohibitively expensive, newspapers will crumple and fold.

Across B.C., municipalities, regional districts and chambers of commerce are publicly opposing new recycling regulations. We ask that civic leaders and business leaders in Nanaimo do the same.

Let’s recycle. But when we do, let’s make sure, at the same time, that we aren’t doing more harm than good in our communities.

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