Small Business Exemptions, Low-Volume Stewards & Flat Fees

The BC Ministry of Environment (MOE) has passed a regulation that exempts some categories of small businesses from the obligation to assume responsibility for the recycling of their Packaging and Printed Paper (PPP) under the BC Recycling Regulation.

MMBC has developed an Online Assessment Tool that allows businesses to easily determine if they qualify for the ‘under 1,000 kg’ regulatory exemption or as a low-volume or flat-fee steward, which eliminates the need to do detailed data gathering and weighing of materials. Before using the tool, you should first follow the steps below to determine if your business is obligated under Schedule 5 of the Recycling Regulation.

If you answer NO to any of the questions below you do not need to take any further action. Also ensure you are not an exempted small business (see below). Otherwise, you are likely a low-volume steward, a flat-fee steward or a steward required to submit detailed reports.


Small Business Exemptions

The exemption extends to BC businesses in any one of the four below categories and removes the need to file a program plan of their own or join MMBC’s program.

  • Businesses that have less than $1 million in annual revenues;
  • Businesses that supply less than 1,000 kg (one tonne) of packaging and printed paper to BC residents; or
  • Businesses that operate as a single point of retail sale and are not supplied or operated as part of a franchise, a chain or under a banner; or
  • Are a registered charity.

Low-Volume and Flat-Fee Stewards

Low-volume stewards will continue to have two flat-fee categories: 1,000 to 2,499 kg and 2,500 to 4,999 kg.

For 2017 reporting, flat-fee categories are: 5,000 to 9,999 kg and 10,000 to 15,000 kg.

Eligible stewards can choose to pay the flat fee with no requirement to produce a detailed annual report, or they can provide a detailed report of the amount of PPP supplied and pay stewardship fees in accordance with MMBC’s fee schedule. As usual, all fee rates for the following year are set in the fall.


Businesses that supply more than 15,000 kg of PPP are required to submit detailed annual reports.

What do I do next as a low-volume or flat-fee steward?

Current stewards can review their previous reports to determine if they are eligible for flat fees.

New stewards who believe they qualify for one of the new flat fee categories (between 5,000 and 15,000 kg) should confirm with the Online Assessment Tool, proceed to the WeRecycle portal and register, complete a Membership Agreement and then follow reporting guidelines.

Stewards who qualify as a low volume steward (between 1,000 and 4,999 kg) should review terms and conditions and will be required to confirm agreement with them on the portal before submitting data.

WeRecycle Registration & Reporting Portal

About the Online Assessment Tool

This tool is designed to provide BC businesses with a simple and quick way to determine if you:

  • Qualify for the ‘under 1,000 kg’ regulatory exemption
  • Qualify as a low-volume steward (supplying between 1,000 and 5,000 kg of PPP into the residential marketplace. Please note, PPP supplied to other businesses is not part of this program; only that which is supplied to residents in the province)
  • Qualify as a flat-fee steward (supplying between 5,000 and 15,000 kg).

The assessment tool helps you to determine your status and which category you fit into without the need to count and measure your packaging and printed paper.

Remember the following when using the tool:

  • Only include sales revenue related to BC – do not include any sales to other provinces.
  • Only include information related to what is supplied to residential customers. Do not include products or services supplied to industrial, commercial or institutional organizations.
Online Assessment Tool

Tools Development and Webinar

MMBC enlisted the assistance and expertise of Deloitte LLP to design the Online Assessment Tool. As a long standing audit partner for stewardship programs, Deloitte has the experience and familiarity with packaging definitions and industry sectors needed to propose the packaging components, weights and assumptions for use in this tool.

Please note the tool is intended to provide guidance and is based on some assumptions. For more information about assumptions related to your business, please call MMBC’s Steward Services team on 1-888-980-9549 or email:

No personal data or information is captured or stored from this assessment tool.

On April 10, 2014, MMBC held a webinar to introduce the Online Assessment Tool.

Webinar Presentation
BC Government Small Producer Definition and Regulatory Obligations for Franchise Systems