2.4 Step four: Determine the weight of obligated materials for each product/service/activity

Stewards will need to determine  the correct material PPP categories to report in, and which material list to use when filing their annual steward reports using the WeRecycle Portal. The national material list (Part Three of this guidebook) and province-specific material lists have been developed to provide stewards with the option to file nationally or provincially. The Portal User Guide contains  step by step instructions on reporting using the national or provincial material lists.

Prior to filing your reports, we recommend you create a repository where you can document all your material categories and associated weights. Some stewards use a specially designed system or database, or use excel spreadsheets.

Next you will need to weigh the packaging by type of material.

Before weights and material sub-categories are obtained, ABOM groups will need to be defined (if the ABOM method is being used).

  • When developing ABOM groups, it is helpful to use the company’s detailed chart of accounts to identify groups of like packaging materials. Typically, the most detailed level of the chart of accounts is used and each detailed account level is examined to determine if products in the respective group are considered similar in terms of packaging materials used and size of materials used. Where the packaging materials are dissimilar they can be further broken out into smaller ABOM groups.
  • Once the ABOM groups have been defined, a sample of products would then be selected to represent each ABOM group. The sample size for each ABOM group should be directly proportionate to the heterogeneity of the ABOM group. Where an ABOM group is completely homogeneous (e.g. an ABOM consisting of only 250 ml steel can products) a sample size of one may be appropriate.
  • Both the specific identification and ABOM methods require that you determine the weight and material sub-categories for packaging materials associated with your products to be reported. There are several options for obtaining weights and material sub-categories where they are not already known. These include:

Option  1 – Obtain packaging data (the materials and their weights) from vendors or industry associations, where available. If this method is selected, steps should be taken to ensure the accuracy of weights provided by the vendors. This could include a discussion with the vendor as to how the weights were obtained or testing the data for accuracy. Determine that processes are in place to obtain accurate weights (i.e. not estimated weights) and material classifications.

Option 2 – Physically examine the packaging components to determine their weights and material categories. This may require the acquisition of a scale which is accurate at least 0.1 grams in order to obtain the weights of packaging materials.

For either option, care should be taken to exclude any materials that are not provided to the residential consumer as noted in the section 2.3.1 above. Please ensure you keep all supporting documentation  on the weights you have deducted or excluded from your reports..

Where products sold include obligated materials such as magazines or paper for general use (e.g. product manuals), the weight of these obligated materials should be included in the weights to be reported.