News release

Nova Scotia Taking Action to Reduce Waste

Changes are coming to how solid waste is managed in Nova Scotia which will reduce waste in our landfills and create a greener and healthier environment.

The Department of Environment and Climate Change is working with municipalities and other stakeholders to expand the Province’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) program to include packaging, single-use plastics and paper. Nova Scotia already uses extended producer responsibility for many common household items such as electronics, computers and paint.

“Nova Scotians are proud of their record on waste reduction, but they want to do more,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Tim Halman. “Extended producer responsibility is one of the most effective ways to keep waste out of landfills and move us from a throw-away economy to a circular economy. EPR drives innovation as producers design products with less environmental impact and creates economic opportunities and jobs in the recycling and packaging sector. EPR will bring many benefits to our communities, our environment and our economy.”

The changes will require the producers of these items to develop new ways to extend and manage the lifecycle of these items.

The Department will begin targeted stakeholder consultation on January 10 with:

  • municipalities
  • Divert Nova Scotia
  • the retail sector, specifically, large grocery and retail store chains, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses and the Retail Council of Canada
  • waste management facility operators and haulers
  • apartment building property groups and associations
  • academia
  • industry and business associations
  • environmental stewardship organizations
  • and other relevant stakeholders.

Their input will help design the new waste management model, regulations, timelines and exemptions for single-use plastics, packaging and paper.


Expanding extended producer responsibility to include packaging, single-use plastics and paper will help keep valuable materials out of Nova Scotia’s landfills, help with our transition to a lower carbon circular economy and empower producers to design products with less environmental impacts. EPR is good for our environment, our economy and will help our recycling industry grow and prosper. We look forward to participating in the consultation and working with the provincial government and other partners to make expanded EPR a reality. Scott Skinner, CEO, Clean Foundation of Nova Scotia

EPR for printed paper and packaging is a long-running priority of Nova Scotian municipalities. The legislation and the regulations to follow will be positive steps towards ensuring environmentally mindful practices of producers and fiscal sustainability of our municipal solid waste network. Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities looks forward to continuing our work supporting this important legislation and participating in the upcoming targeted stakeholder consultation. Amanda McDougall, President, Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities

This highly anticipated announcement is a positive step forward in promoting the circular economy and improving the management of difficult to recycle packaging in Nova Scotia. Municipalities are ready to work together with the Province and the business sector to improve efficiencies in our waste management system. Tony Mancini, Chair, HRM Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee and District 6 Councillor

Quick Facts:

  • the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities passed a resolution in 2018 supporting extended producer responsibility for packaging, plastics and paper
  • Nova Scotia began an extended producer responsibility program for used oil, glycol, paint, computers and electronics, such as microwaves and televisions, in 2019
  • the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act has 28 goals to address climate change, reduce waste, and guide the province to cleaner and more prosperous future; one of the goals is to support the growth of a circular economy by expanding expanded producer responsibility
  • the circular economy retains and recovers as much value as possible from resources by reusing, repairing, refurbishing, remanufacturing, repurposing or recycling products and materials
  • Nova Scotians currently produce 400 kilograms of waste per person, per year; the Province’s goal is to reduce solid waste disposal rates to no more than 300 kilograms per person, per year by 2030

Additional Resources:

Expanding extended producer responsibility is an action in the new Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, legislation that is part of the mandate of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change:

Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act: