Who We Are
Officially, Product Care Association (PCA) is a federally incorporated, not-for-profit, product stewardship company. That’s a complex description for what is actually a fairly simple idea: at our core, we are a group of people committed to making the recycling of special waste easy for everyone.
What We do
In a nutshell, PCA sets up collection networks for your unwanted products, develops transportation systems to move recyclable waste safely and efficiently, works with other recycling experts to create industry-leading material processing standards, promotes awareness of available recycling programs, and maintains detailed records of all this in order to report to regulators, stakeholders, partners and the general public.
Essentially, we distill exceedingly complex recycling challenges down into transparent, palatable, and achievable programs that everyone can use to keep their end-of-life products out of landfills and waterways.
Extended Producer Responsibility
PCA exists because of a set of provincially mandated environmental protection strategies collectively known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulation. Under the EPR model, the producers of certain products (the manufacturers or first importers, i.e. the first group to introduce a product into the market) are legally responsible for ensuring that their products are captured under an approved recycling program at the end of their life cycle.
PCA is funded by its membership, a group of more than 500 producers of products that are regulated under the EPR model. We are not a government body. Our recycling programs are free for all to use and are funded by the fees that we collect from our members.
In 1994, the province of British Columbia introduced EPR regulations for paint, obligating paint producers to develop recycling processes for their end-of-life products. The regulations were stringent and comprehensive, requiring producers to create collection networks, product transportation systems, processing standards, reporting and auditing practices, public awareness and education strategies, and more.
In response, paint producers united to form Paint Care, a federally incorporated, not-for-profit organization that would manage every aspect of the provincial EPR requirements on their behalf, ensuring that its members were compliant.
Paint Care was a tremendous success, capturing significant volumes of paint in its recycling program. In 1997, Paint Care expanded its purview to include household hazardous waste materials (pesticides, flammable liquids and solvents) in response to new EPR regulations around these materials.