Canada hit with hidden eco tax. Coming here soon...
New eco fees catching consumers by surprise
Checking her receipt as she left a downtown Canadian Tire, Chris Colorado noticed a new charge.
Her $1.99 bottle of dish soap was accompanied by a 13-cent “eco fee.”
The levy for thousands of new products, from pharmaceuticals to fire extinguishers, quietly came into effect July 1, the same day as the harmonized sales tax.
But unlike that tax, provincial agencies have done little to publicize the new fees, catching consumers like Colorado by surprise.
“I’ve never heard anything about this fee. No one’s talking about it,” she said. “The fact they just put it without us knowing, I don’t think it’s honest. I don’t like it.”
Manufacturers must pay the province a levy for recycling their products. Some companies are passing these costs, ranging from a few cents to several dollars per product, onto consumers.
What gets the fee:
All aerosol containers, from paint to hairspray.
Rechargeable batteries, as well as non-lead acid motive batteries.
Corrosives and irritants, such as household bleaches, drain cleaners and detergents.
Assorted toxic, flammable and reactive products.
Syringes and needles.
Pharmaceuticals for humans and pets, including prescription medicine, over-the-counter drugs and natural health products.
Fluorescent tubes and bulbs.