Legislation put forward by Ontario's Liberal government today would force companies to include the cost of recycling their products in the price tag.
In addition to the all-in pricing, the legislation would eliminate the industry-run stewardship organizations that were setting the eco fees. Producers and importers currently pay eco fees to those organizations to administer recycling programs, the cost of which are usually passed on to consumers.
Stewardship Ontario came under fire in 2010 when eco fees were slapped on thousands of new household products with little warning.
The governing Liberals were forced to drop the fees on those products amid outrage from both consumers and businesses, but kept the fees on electronics.
Environment Minister Jim Bradley said the new legislation will give companies an incentive to find more efficient ways to recycle.
"I think recycling is just another cost of doing business and should not appear on a sales slip,” Bradley told CBC News. “You do not see a special charge for labour costs, rent, heat or for that matter CEO bonuses. Why should you see a separate charge for recycling?"
Right now about half of household waste in Ontario is recycled or composted but nearly 90 per cent of industrial and commercial waste ends up in landfills.