EPRA (Electronics Products Recycling Association) and OES (Ontario Electronics Stewardship) have been responsible for managing the Electronic Recycling Program in Ontario for years and did so under a monopolistic model controlled by the same big tech giants who produce the electronic equipment.
This included the collection of tens of millions of dollars of environmental fees from Ontarians without adequate oversight or accountability of how those funds are spent or allocated.
In an effort to bring transparency and accountability to Ontario’s electronic recycling program, the Ontario Government introduced a new program scheduled to begin on January 1, 2021. The intention was to ensure transparency and accountability and create a level playing field in a recycling market where the tech giants had absolute control through their surrogate organizations – EPRA and OES.
In direct defiance of the new provincial direction, EPRA and OES has been misrepresenting themselves as simply a re-branding of their previous organizations as “EPRA Ontario” and is asking their customers such as municipalities and the City of Toronto to simply sign new contracts.
This is reminiscent of the sleazy energy door-to-door sales tactics of days gone by and clearly a snub of the intentions of the provincial government’s intent to clean up this sector.
It is clear that these two organizations have no qualms about misrepresenting themselves as “authorities” under the new EEE Program and may well be using public funds to support current activities promoting EPRA’s commercial interest.
Not only does this constitute a conflict of interest, but continues to perpetuate an unfair advantage over smaller Ontario recyclers who have been pushed to the edges over the years through the anti-competitive behaviour, but has also resulted in huge costs to Ontario consumers.
To-date, the only consequences have been a formal reminder to their staff of the conflict of interest requirements.
This type of corruption warrants stronger actions. These two organizations have failed to operate fairly and have clearly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted. The only way to make sure that consumers are no longer harmed is to remove them from the current new Government Regulated Recycling program. If they are allowed to continue, there is nothing preventing them from repeating these behaviors, giving them an unfair advantage over their competitors.
Allowing EPRA to continue as a registered participant in the current program, lowers the integrity of the program. In order for the consumer to trust the effectiveness of this program, it must not start on the wrong foot.
We need your help to ensure that these unfair practices do not continue and it is a level playing field from the start, for everyone. Ontarians should feel confident in services that are provided.
Don’t stand for unfair business practices, demand consequences. Sign our petition!!
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