The Ministry of the Environment (the ministry) is committed to the proper management of wastes to protect the environment and public health. In keeping with this objective, the ministry has made a new regulation under the Environmental Protection Act for the collection and management of post consumer waste pharmaceuticals and sharps.
The regulation implements an extended producer responsibility (EPR) approach that requires producers of pharmaceuticals and sharps (e.g., manufacturers, brand owners and importers selling in Ontario) to be responsible for the management of the wastes resulting from their products (i.e. unused or expired pharmaceuticals, or used, unused or expired sharps), ensuring that consumers have access to convenient locations to return waste pharmaceuticals and sharps so that these wastes are not improperly disposed in Ontario’s land and waterways.
Producers of pharmaceuticals and sharps have indicated a willingness to take responsibility for the end-of-life management of their products. The regulation ensures that these wastes are collected and properly managed and establishes the level-playing field requested by producers of pharmaceuticals and sharps.
The regulation was filed with the Registrar of Regulations as Ontario Regulation 298/12 (Collection of Pharmaceuticals and Sharps – Responsibilities of Producers) on September 28, 2012. The regulation comes into force on October 1, 2012, with a transition period of three months for producers to meet most requirements, such as the requirement to provide for the collection and disposal of waste pharmaceuticals and sharps and have the minimum number of collection locations available (i.e. by January 1, 2013).