Small Businesses & Low Volume Stewards

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 under the BC Recycling Regulation. See below for more detail on how a small business is defined in this Regulation. MMBC has developed a small business assessment tool which allows businesses to easily determine if they qualify as a small business under this regulation, however, before using the Small Business Assessment Tool, you should follow the steps below to determine if your business is obligated under Schedule 5 of the Recycling Regulation. You can also use our National Guidebook below:

National Guidebook

1.If you answer NO to any of the questions below, your business is not an obligated business and you do not need to take any further action.


2. Ensure you are not already exempted by the BC Government’s proposed Regulation – see the small business exemptions section below

3. If you get to step 3 and are reading this, you are likely to be either a low volume steward or a steward. Read about low volume stewards or use our National Guidebook for more information.

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 tonne (1,000 kilograms) 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 Stewards

MMBC has introduced simplified reporting for businesses that supply between one and five tonnes of packaging and printed paper to residential consumers, which MMBC has classed as low volume stewards.

Low volume stewards will be required to declare that they meet these criteria and pay a flat fee commensurate with the amount of material they supply into the residential marketplace.

The simplified reporting is intended to reduce the administrative burden on low-volume stewards. The flat fee has been introduced to ensure low volume stewards fulfil their obligation to pay for the management of the packaging and printed paper they supply to residents in BC under the BC Recycling Regulation.

The flat fees are set as follows:

  • A fee of $550 for businesses that produce between 1 and 2.5 tonnes of packaging and printed paper; or
  • A fee of $1,200 for businesses that produce between 2.5 and 5 tonnes of packaging and printed paper

These fee thresholds are based on MMBC’s estimated cost of around $452 per tonne to manage packaging and printed paper in BC and will be subject to change periodically.  Low-volume stewards can choose to either pay a flat fee, as set out above, with no requirement to produce a detailed report, or produce a detailed report of the amount of packaging and printed paper supplied and pay stewardship fees in accordance with MMBC’s fee schedule.

To check whether your business is exempt, or whether you are a low volume steward, use our online assessment tool.

What do I do next as a low volume steward?

Low-volume stewards will need to register with MMBC on the WeRecycle portal.

Once registered, low-volume stewards will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Confirm your obligation on the WeRecycle portal as a low-volume steward.
  2. Review and acknowledge terms and conditions.
WeRecycle Registration & Reporting Portal

BC Government Small Producer Definition and Regulatory Obligations for Franchise Systems

The Ministry of Environment (MOE) for BC passed an amendment to its Recycling Regulation recently which obligates non-resident franchisors for the packaging and printed paper their franchisees supply into the BC residential marketplace, i.e. any packaging or paper that consumers take home with them that is supplied to them by you and your franchisees.

As an identified franchisor with franchisees operating in BC, you are now responsible for reporting on the amount of packaging and printed paper all your franchisees operating in BC supply. You are required to report for both 2013 (based on 2012 data) and 2014 (based on 2013 data). It is important to note that if any of your BC franchisees reported independently, they will be refunded by MMBC.

For further information click here for the BC government’s clarification paper regarding non-resident franchisors.

If you are a franchisor now obligated to report, please contact us at your earliest opportunity to discuss next steps. You can contact Steward Services on 1 888 980 9549 or email:

Small Business and Low Volume Steward 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 tonne’ regulatory exemption
  • Qualify as a low volume steward (supplying between 1 and 5 tonnes of packaging and printed paper into the residential marketplace. Please note, packaging and printed paper supplied to other businesses is not part of this program; only that which is supplied to residents in the province)

This 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 on packaging and printed paper that is supplied to residential customers. Do not include packaging and printed paper supplied to industrial, commercial or institutional organizations
  • Do not include transportation packaging that is not intended primarily for use or management in the home, for example plastic pallet wrap; packaging for large appliances that is removed upon delivery (does not stay with the householder).
Assessment Tool for Small Businesses and Low Volume Stewards

Tool Development

MMBC enlisted the assistance and expertise of Deloitte LLP to design the Small Business 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

This tool is intended to provide guidance. The assessment tool 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.

Small Business Assessment Tool Webinar

On April 10, 2014, MMBC held a webinar to introduce the small business assessment tool.

Webinar Presentation