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Quebec to become first jurisdiction in North America to impose EV battery recycling regulation

Source: TAITRA | Updated: 22 October 2021

In order to expand recycling measures and reduce landfill waste, Quebec’s provincial government will be putting the heat on producers.

Announced on Oct. 14, 2021, various products will be subject to the principle of extended producer responsibility (EPR), meaning companies will be accountable for the "end-of-life management" of certain items.

In a press release, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change Benoir Charette said he is “very proud that our government is consolidating its role as a leader in recycling by taking another step towards better waste management”.

According to the release, Quebec will achieve this goal by imposing minimum rates for recovery and recycling on the producers of certain products.

The new measures will apply to electric vehicle batteries, small batteries and lead-acid batteries, most agricultural plastics, obsolete pesticides, laboratory refrigeration equipment, pharmaceutical products and pressurized fuel containers, among other things.

Quebec could become the first territory in North America where it will be mandatory for manufacturers of electric vehicles to recover and then recycle their old batteries. Minister Charette also plans to strengthen the standard on zero-emission vehicles to further accelerate the electrification of transportation.

The provincial government of Quebec has announced its intention to modernize the Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by businesses to make the businesses concerned responsible for the recovery and recycling of various products.

Just last year, Quebec announced it would devote $30 million over the next three years to upgrade the province's recycling facilities, reduce reliance on single-use plastics and ease the burden on recycling centers. The recycling system overhaul includes requiring retailers to ensure consigned material is recycled. Stores also risk facing unspecified penalties if they fail to meet the province's recycling targets.

In response to the announcement, Minister Charette added that "it is essential to subject new products to the principle of EPR, including electric vehicle batteries, because their number will increase significantly in the coming years. It was therefore very important to propose a solution for recycling them now”. 

A public consultation on the new regulation will take place from Oct. 13 to Nov. 26, 2021.

For details or more information, please consult the Quebec government website at: https://www.quebec.ca/en/.

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