EPR Shifting The Balance Conference

Toronto, Ontario

April 6, 2004


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EPR Shifting The Balance Conference
EPR Shifting The Balance Conference
dated April 6, 2004

Toronto, Ontario
April 3, 2004

       The federal government in Ottawa needs to follow the European Community's lead in the field of EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) regulations which make manufacturers responsible for the recycling and disposal of the products they make.
       That was the consensus of the environmentalists and union representatives from Ontario, the United States and Europe gathered in Toronto April 2nd and 3rd for the EPR Shifting The Balance conference.
       CAW Local 1520 retiree, Jim Mahon, vice president of Great Lakes United said the conference was a great step forward.

Jim Mahon
CAW Local 1520 retiree
VP Great Lakes United

       "I think what has been great about the conference is we have had the opportunity to hear from people in Europe and seeing that in fact the regulations are working over there. There are some hic-cups and it is going to take a while to get the regulations totally working but things are advancing very, very nicely, and I think it is time Canadians jumped on board and we said to our federal government "we need EPR legislation now."

       The workshop conference discussed strategies and objectives with experts from Europe and the United States. Philip White of ORB Analysis for Design in Oregon said the overall benefits of EPR out weigh the costs.

Philip White
ORB Analysis

       "The exact pricing of the disassembly and recycling process differs from product to product, so it is very difficult to generalize about that. What it does create an opportunity for is an increased amount of labour and an increased amount of jobs for both automobile disassemblers and disassemblers of electronic products if those were also taken back and recycled."

       The CAW has been a long time proponent of EPR regulations and sees it as a way to add high quality , high tech, auto manufacturing jobs to the Canadian economy, according to Mahon.

Jim Mahon
CAW Local 1520 retiree
VP Great Lakes United

       "It's important to labour and autoworkers because there are jobs there. Certainly in the auto industry we are seeing a number of jobs are starting to go elsewhere in the world and I think this is a way to capture back jobs for autoworkers here in Canada."

       During one of the workshops Ron Challis, CAW Local 1520, stressed the need to make it mandatory for auto manufacturers to be involved in EPR.

Ron Challis
CAW Local 1520

       "Redesign and rethinking their processes is very important in making EPR possible and if the automotive companies don't have the responsibility of that refurbishing then it is very difficult to get them to redesign and rethink their processes. And I think it is important to have the automotive companies deeply involved in that to make that work."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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