TORONTO — The Packaging Association of Canada is calling on provincial and municipal governments to share more costs of managing waste and to standardize legislation.
A growing patchwork of waste collection and disposal regulations threatens Canada's packaging sector, PAC President Alan Robinson said in a news release issued at Pac-Ex '97.
Robinson noted that a profusion of regulations forces up costs for the industry because firms ``need to develop separate packaging to meet the legislative needs of each jurisdiction.''
PAC spokesman Larry Dworkin said the sector has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on source reduction. Its goal under the National Packaging Protocol is to divert as much as 50 percent of packaging waste from landfills by 2000. When the sector agreed to the protocol, it was with the understanding that governments would not keep changing the law.
``New governments have been elected, with new agendas,'' Dworkin said in a telephone interview. He cited different container deposit laws in each of the 10 provinces as an example of complexities faced by packagers.
This ``barrage of legislation'' makes it tough to be internationally competitive, he said.
``We want standardized legislation in provinces from coast to coast,'' Dworkin said.
Canada exports about C$2.5 billion (US$1.8 billion) of packaging annually, and that business has been growing 10 percent a year, PAC estimates. The sector's annual sales of C$12 billion (US$8.6 billion) are growing 3-4 percent a year. Dworkin predicts that increasing domestic costs will make it tougher for Canadian firms to compete internationally.