How We Are Funded

How are EPR recycling programs funded in British Columbia?

In BC, the funding models for recycling programs are as diverse as the products you purchase which are then recovered and responsibly recycled. While there are many funding models, EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) programs generally fall into one of two categories:

1. Internalized Cost Model

The internalized cost model is a funding model where the cost of the recycling program is part of the producer's cost of the product; the producer either absorbs the cost of recycling or internalizes the cost into the product's selling price. Programs with internalized recycling costs do not charge separate fees to the consumer at the retail point of sale.

2. Eco-Fee Model

The eco-fee model is a funding model where the cost of the recycling program is also part of the producer's cost of the product, however, the cost (typically referred to as eco-fees) are charged to the consumer at the retail point of sale. Eco-fees are typically applied as a separate charge in addition to the product's selling price.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Who determines how a program is funded?

Individual Stewards (producers) determine how they will fund their respective recycling programs. It is a decision made by obligated stewards; namely, retailers, manufacturers and others in the supply chain. Stewardship Agencies are industry led organizations appointed by producers to implements and manage their products at the "end of life". They operate under a government approved stewardship plan.

Why don't all Stewardship Agencies use the same funding model?

Each Stewardship Agency has a different recycling program in place, which means that no single funding model is appropriate for all Stewardship Agencies. Some Stewardship Agencies have chosen to use an eco-fee to fund their program, while others do not use eco-fees.

The nature of the collection program and the type of product(s) to be recycled often help define how the program will be developed and funded.

If I don't pay an Eco-Fee, can I still be sure the product is being recycled properly?

Yes. If the product is part of an approved EPR stewardship plan you can be assured the product will be responsibly recycled. Regardless of how a program is funded, each Stewardship Agency with an approved program in BC has an obligation under the Recycling Regulation to ensure that the material is properly dealt with at the "end of life".

Whether reused or recycled, proper handling of material helps to reduce pressures on our landfills, conserve our natural resources, and protect our environment.

Who can I speak to with a question about how specific programs are funded?

It's best to contact the Stewardship Agency that is responsible for the product. Use the What Industry Stewards Recycle links for a full list of the Stewardship Agencies.

Do I have to pay when I return the product for recycling?

No. By regulation there is no charge when you return an EPR product for recycling.

Where do I go to recycle?

If you want to know where to recycle an item, you can use the recycling location finder on the Stewardship Agencies of BC website homepage. You can also visit the Recycling Council of BC website at, download the free BC Recyclepedia Smart Phone App, or call their hotline at 1-800-667-4321.

How do I find out more about the Stewardship Agencies of BC?

There's an easy way to find out more! Simply visit for more information about the purpose of the Stewardship Agencies, as well as for links to the agencies responsible for particular products.