Board Converting News, June 13, 2022

Kagan Interviews Mullinder (CONT’D FROM PAGE 38)


Mullinder : Absolutely not. And even the advice that is out there (the archived guidelines you refer to) are inade- quate. This is one of the reasons they were archived as a matter of fact. Greenwashing is a major issue and it needs sufficient resources allocated to it, urgently. Or nobody will believe anything. And that is a slippery slope. Kagan : KaPPEC has long called for disposal bans on pa- per-based packaging, considering such materials are re- cyclable and end markets exist; why do you think there is resistance to implementing such bans? Mullinder : What really gets up my nose are provinces spouting off about how we should all move to a circular economy while they do little or nothing to change the eco- nomics that make it cheaper to send stuff to landfill rather than to recycle it. The circular economy is all about reusing materials again and again, and the provinces have the power to do something about this. They need to demonstrate some political fortitude and be willing to take on the commercial interests of municipalities and waste haulers who happen to own landfills. Kagan : Do you have any comments on the state of Extend- ed Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies and legislation in Canada as they relate to the paper-based packaging industry? And how does the consumer/resident – who ulti- mately decides how to dispose of their waste and recycla- bles – fit into the concept of EPR? Mullinder : I think we have to be very careful in claiming EPR as the solution for materials ending up in landfill. Any costs that producers incur through EPR schemes will in- evitably be passed on to consumers. What’s important for industry (including the paper industry) is that any fee struc- ture be fair and evenly applied. Non-performers must be penalized for any scheme to work. And a major education job is required to get the con- sumer in the loop. For example, about 40 percent of On- tario Blue Box recyclables go straight to the trash because householders are confused about whether certain materi- als are recyclable or not. Much (but not all) of this trashed material is perfectly recyclable. Kagan : Is there anything else you would like to share about your new book Little Green Lies? Mullinder : I know this will sound a bit like a sales pitch (it is!), but I think the book provides a sound basis for critically examining many of the environmental claims we see and hear today (whether they are from industry, governments, or environmental groups). The sources for the information I provide are all there. Facts do matter! Visit for more information on John Mullinder and to order his books. Readers can reach him at


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June 13, 2022

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