FAQs

Who is MMSW?

Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW) is a non-profit agency established to help businesses who produce residential waste packaging and paper in Saskatchewan meet their requirements under the Saskatchewan Household Packaging & Paper Stewardship Program Regulation.

How do I know if I’m an obligated steward?

In February 2012, the provincial government approved Saskatchewan Household Packaging & Paper Stewardship Program Regulation (the Regulation), under the The Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2002, which transfers responsibility for financing up to 75 per cent of efficient and effective recycling programs for residential waste packaging and paper (WPP) to businesses that produce this material into the Saskatchewan market.

The Regulation states that any company or organization that supplies waste packaging and paper into the residential Saskatchewan market qualifies as a “steward”. However, the Ministry of the Environment has announced exemptions to the Regulation that include the following:

  • An exemption for any business that generates less than $2 million in gross annual revenue, or generates less than one tonne of packaging and paper produced annually or operates as a single point of retail;
  • A two year exemption for all businesses with annual revenue between $2 and $5 million and all larger newspapers. During this two year period, these businesses would not be required to report with MMSW and would be required to pay a $500.00 flat fee.

Those businesses that the above exemptions do not apply to are still obligated under the Regulation.

In response to these changes, MMSW has recently published its revised program plan, which can be accessed here.  Providing the government can approve the plan by mid-October, allowing enough time for us to execute funding agreements with municipalities and prepare for launch, the expected launch date will be January 1, 2016.


How do stewards join MMSW?

Stewards can register with MMSW by visiting the WeRecycle Portal.

Will small businesses have to comply with the Recycling Regulation?

The Ministry of the Environment has announced exemptions to the Regulation that include the following for small businesses and newspapers:

  • An exemption for any business that generates less than $2 million in gross annual revenue, or generates less than one tonne of packaging and paper produced annually or operates as a single point of retail;
  • A two year exemption for all businesses with annual revenue between $2 and $5 million and all larger newspapers. During this two year period, these businesses would not be required to report with MMSW and would be required to pay a $500.00 flat fee.
  • During the two year period, all fees (other than the $500.00 flat fee) must be submitted to the Minister for approval prior to taking effect.

Those businesses that the above exemptions do not apply to are still obligated under the Regulation.


What is Extended Producer Responsibility?

This transition of responsibility from municipalities and taxpayers to stewards falls under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR),  which describes the life-cycle of products and packaging made, sold and distributed by suppliers, importers, first-sellers, brand-owners, retailers and manufacturers. It means that the “producers” responsibility for products and packaging extends to the post-consumer phase – requiring businesses take measures to ensure proper end-of-life handling.

EPR encourages a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach to managing materials, meaning products and packaging discarded by the consumer are recovered, recycled and reused to make new products – redirecting waste destined for landfill and reducing our impact on the environment.

Reuse and recycling uses less energy than manufacturing from new materials and as the costs of collection, processing and recycling are shifted from taxpayers to the producers of the materials, this approach encourages industry to be more innovative in product and packaging design.


Can I pass fees onto my customers?


It is up to individual businesses to determine how they will manage these costs. In other provinces with packaging and paper regulations, many businesses view stewardship fees as a cost of doing business and do not pass costs onto their customers.

What if a business is located outside of Saskatchewan but sells products for residential use inside the province?


A business that is located in Canada outside of SK but supplies waste packaging and or paper products to Saskatchewan residents can volunteer to be a steward. Voluntary stewards demonstrate environmental responsibility for their waste packaging and paper and relieve their first importers of their stewardship obligation.

What is included in “packaging”?

Under the Regulation, “packaging” is any packaging or container that:

  • is composed of glass, metal, paper, boxboard, cardboard, paper fibre or plastic or any combination of those materials; and
  • contains a product;
  • but does not include beverage containers as defined in The Litter Control Act.

For more information click here.


What is included in “paper”?

Under the Regulation, “paper” includes flyers, brochures, booklets, catalogues, telephone directories, newspapers, magazines, paper fibre and paper used for copying, writing and any other general use.

For more information click here.


Are containers that are regulated under The Litter Control Act and that are under deposit included in this program?

No. Containers that are under deposit are not included in this program. These are covered under The Litter Control Act

How do stewards get more information about MMSW?

MMSW encourages stewards to regularly return to this website to find updates on the program development process.

Stewards can review the Resources page for helpful information, such as the National Guidebook, Portal User Guide, and various supporting documents.

For more information please contact our Steward Services team at 1-888-980-9549 or .


Does Saskatchewan have any other industry stewardship programs?

Yes, in Saskatchewan, industry stewardship programs exist for the management of waste paint, used oil, scrap tires and e-waste. For more information visit Recycle Saskatchewan: http://www.recyclesaskatchewan.ca/

Are there similar industry programs for waste packaging and paper in Canada?

Yes, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia have required that industry assume some or all of the responsibility for waste packaging and paper programs.

Is waste packaging and paper generated by industrial, commercial and institutional businesses included in the Regulations?

No, they are not.