Newspapers are the product, not packaging

News dissemination is necessary for a vibrant and healthy democracy and a well-functioning society.  Newspapers also continue to play an essential role in educating the public on environmental issues, including recycling.

Since the advent of the blue bin, newspapers have had the highest level of collection of all recyclable materials – more than plastics and even more than aluminum. Newspapers continue to be a valuable recovered resource in the recycling stream. They have a stable end market and high commercial value, and recycling newspapers saves trees. Newspaper publishers are responsible stewards, moving to thinner paper and environmentally friendly inks.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) levies fees on manufacturers and retailers, shifting the burden of recycling costs from taxpayers to producers. The EPR objective is simple: reduce packaging in the waste/recycling stream. When producers must pay these fees, they innovate and find ways to wrap their products in far less packaging.

All provinces have different EPR regulations, and some require newspapers, which are not packaging, to pay these fees. Recognizing newspapers’ critical role in the community, Ontario exempted newspapers from these fees, and recent research confirms that Canadians support this exemption. Almost two thirds (63%) of Canadians agree that newspapers should be exempt, and this climbs to 66% for adults in small cities (population 30-100K) as well as adults in Western Canada.

Publishers interested in supporting the exemption can run an op-ed co-authored by our chair Jamie Irving and Paul Deegan, News Media Canada’s president and CEO.  Click here to access the op-ed.