North America set to raise the bar on sustainability expectations amid emerging legislation

North America is set to trigger a new wave of sustainability compliance that may surpass existing frameworks in Europe following the success of a Common Collection Service (CCS) in Ontario established by Reconomy brand RLG.

With a slew of regulation set to be implemented across the rest of Canada and the United States, North America is set to ‘raise the bar’ in terms of sustainability standards and processes.

The Ontario CCS marked a huge step forward for the circular economy in providing producers with a full compliance service as the innovative collaboration with Circular Materials (CMO) brought a full EPR infrastructure under Ontario’s Blue Box Regulation to the province.

The transition began on 1 July 2023, supported by a custom-developed web-based platform designed to collect high-quality data on the movement of blue box materials through the collection system, tracking materials from their point of collection to their reintegration into the economy. The auditing program supplies an overview of materials, their composition as well as how it changes in real time and in response to interventions and changing drivers.

Following the Ontario blue-print, other provinces in Canada and states across the US are preparing similar schemes to go-live in the near future with the rest of the region expected to follow suit.

Patrick Wiedemann, Divisional CEO, Reconomy, commented, “The work that has gone into establishing the CCS in Ontario has the potential to be a game-changer in the implementation of EPR schemes and global environmental regulation. It could raise the bar in terms of how data and technology can drive positive change across developed economies as the shift to a circular economy accelerates. Until now, North America has had a relatively light touch on environmental regulation. It means schemes can be implemented on a blank canvas, unincumbered by legacy systems and processes. Into this landscape we are able to bring proven end-to-end capabilities that give granular detail on the footprint of items right the way through their journey. Our industry-leading experience operating these schemes gives us a global perspective on sustainability – the opportunity we see in North America is both pioneering and exciting.”

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