Environmental Fees on Products Sold in Ontario

If you purchase batteries, electronics, hazardous and special products or tires in Ontario, you may see an extra charge added to your receipt called an environmental fee, resource recovery fee, environmental handling fee, tire handling fee, eco-fee, recycling fee or something similar.

These fees may be applied at the discretion of businesses to cover their costs related to recycling their products.

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority does not charge or mandate that businesses charge environmental fees, nor do we set the amount of the fee to be charged. The regulations that detail the obligations for recycling batteries, electronics, hazardous and special products and tires also do not require the use of these fees.

It is up to each business to decide whether to charge environmental fees on batteries, electronics or tires and determine what amount the fee should be to recover their recycling costs.

The tires regulation contains rules related to the use of fees on tires, detailed in the Authority’s compliance bulletin Charging Tire Fees to Consumers.

The regulations for electronics and batteries do not contain rules about the use of environmental fees. However, consumer protection laws require that the purpose of the fee not be misrepresented.

What you need to know about environmental fees

Click the headings below to learn more about frequently asked questions on environmental fees.

Businesses have the choice to recover the cost of recycling their products by incorporating those costs into the overall cost of their product (as they do with other costs, such as materials, labour, other regulatory compliance costs, etc.) or by charging it as a separate fee to consumers.

Environmental fees on batteries, electronics, hazardous and special products or tires are not mandatory and are applied at the discretion of the business charging them, including the amount of the fee.

Consumer protection laws in Ontario require that the purpose of a visible fee cannot be misrepresented. This means that if a business decides to charge an environmental fee on batteries, electronics, hazardous and special products or tires, the fee:

  • must reflect the business’ actual cost of recycling the product; and
  • cannot be presented as a government tax, an RPRA fee or something similar.

There are additional rules in the tires regulation about visible fees related to recycling tires. For information about the rules for charging recycling fees on tires, refer to the compliance bulletin Charging Tire Fees to Consumers.

There is no set environmental fee for any product. The amount of the fee charged is decided by the business and must reflect the actual cost of recycling that product.

The tires regulation has specific rules about how a visible fee is communicated to consumers, and how tire retailers and producers must document and report on their use of visible fees. Refer to the compliance bulletin Charging Tire Fees to Consumers for details.

No. An environmental fee is not a government tax and cannot be represented as mandatory, a regulatory charge, or an RPRA fee. It is a fee charged at the discretion of a business to recover their costs related to recycling the product.

If you are a consumer and believe that the purpose of a fee is being misrepresented, contact the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery directly at 1-800-889-9768.

If you are concerned about the fee you were charged, you should contact the business that charged you the fee to request a more detailed explanation of how the fee was determined.

If you are concerned about a tire handling fee, you can contact the Compliance and Registry Team at registry@rpra.ca and our team will review to ensure that the rules for charging tires fees were followed.

Have a question?

If you are a producer or retailer and have questions about charging environmental fees, you can contact the Compliance and Registry team at registry@rpra.ca or 1-833-600-0530.

If you are a consumer and believe that the purpose of a fee is being misrepresented, contact the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery directly at 1-800-889-9768.

For general information about Ontario’s consumer protection laws, visit Consumer Protection Ontario’s website.