News release

Circular Economy Progress Update

Nova Scotia is taking significant steps forward in its commitment to reduce waste and promote better ways to use and take care of resources.

The government announced today, August 2, new extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs for batteries, lamps, and small household electric appliances, as well as packaging, paper products and other blue bag materials.

EPR programs make producers accountable for end-of-life management of their goods, which improves recycling efforts and supports waste reduction goals. The programs are a key part of the circular economy, which refers to retaining and recovering as much value as possible from resources by reusing, repairing, refurbishing, remanufacturing, repurposing or recycling products and materials.

“Nova Scotia has long been a leader in recycling and composting. Nova Scotians are proud of their efforts and they want us to do more to show that leadership,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Timothy Halman. “Growing the circular economy is a key action for fighting climate change, and extended producer responsibility programs are one of the best ways we can grow our circular economy. By adding four new extended producer responsibility programs, we are reaffirming Nova Scotia’s position as a leader in sustainable waste resource management and building a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future for generations to come.”

The new EPR programs fall under two sets of regulations:

  • the Solid Waste-Resource Management Regulations now include programs for batteries, lamps and small, household electric appliances, such as irons, can openers and hair dryers
  • a new set of EPR regulations covers packaging, paper products and materials in the residential blue bag recycling program, making producers responsible to pay for, collect, and recycle the materials. Producers will have to meet recycling targets that will encourage more eco-friendly packaging and reduce single-use plastics. Having producers cover the cost of recycling will save Nova Scotia municipalities around $25 million annually.

The new programs will take effect on various dates over the next 28 months.

Nova Scotia’s commitment to a circular economy is outlined in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act. By 2030, the Province aims to reduce waste disposal rates to 300 kilograms per person per year. EPR programs are a crucial step to achieve this milestone.

Quick Facts:

  • the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act has 28 goals to address climate change, reduce waste and guide the province to a cleaner and more prosperous future; one of the goals is to support the growth of a circular economy by expanding extended producer responsibility
  • Nova Scotia already has EPR programs for some electronics, paint, used oil and glycol

Additional Resources:

Solid Waste-Resource Management Regulations:

Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging, Paper Products and Packaging-Like Products Regulations:

Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act: