Stewardship of plastic packaging in Manitoba : a multi-stakeholder model

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Quinn, Lisa
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Plastics comprise one of the fastest growing material commodity markets. Over the last twenty years the sale of virgin plastic resin in Canada has increased threefold, with the primary end-use being packaging. While the popularity of plastics has increased dramatically, policies and programs to ensure the proper management of this material, or the waste it creates, have not developed at an equal pace. Instituting policies and programs which embrace the principles of packaging stewardship, a concept in which producers assume responsibility for the impact their packaging has on the environment throughout its lifecycle, is one possible way to diffuse the negative impact of plastic packaging on the environment. The purpose of this thesis was to explore the different options for the stewardship of plastic packaging in Manitoba, with the final product being a model to guide the implementation of packaging stewardship in the province. The objectives set for this study were: to review the use of both regulatory and voluntary packaging stewardship initiatives adopted in other jurisdiction (Germany, Sweden, Austria, Australia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia), to assess the potential advantages and disadvantages of implementing these initiatives in Manitoba, and to gain feedback from industry stakeholders regarding the concept of packaging stewardship and a proposed model for implementing packaging stewardship in Manitoba. In order to achieve the objectives of the study, four activities were conducted - a literature review, a packaging stewardship policy and program review, a case study and a workshop. The literature and program review determined that the benefits of packaging stewardship initiatives went far beyond simply diverting waste from landfills and reducing municipal waste management costs...