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The management and funding of Ontario’s Blue Box Program is currently shared between municipalities or First Nations communities and stewards (first importers, brand owners or franchisors of products and packaging materials that end up in residential Blue Boxes). In November, 2016, new legislation was proclaimed that enables a shift from this shared-cost model to one in which stewards are fully responsible, both financially and operationally, for collecting and managing paper products and packaging materials (PPP).

In response to these legislative changes, the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change issued a letter in August, 2017, directing the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (the Authority) and Stewardship Ontario to prepare a proposal for an amended Blue Box Program Plan (a-BBPP) by February 15, 2018 that will transition the Blue Box Program from its current shared-cost model to full producer responsibility. The Minister’s letter requires the a-BBPP be prepared in consultation and engagement with stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples. The Minister also requested the Authority and Stewardship Ontario to jointly develop a communications and issues management plan to ensure meaningful consultation, engagement and communication is conducted with affected stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples, including stewards, municipalities, First Nations communities and the waste management industry.

What You’ll Find Within the Plan

As requested by the Minister, the Authority and Stewardship Ontario have together developed this Stakeholder and Indigenous Peoples Engagement and Communications Plan. Throughout the plan, you will find details on the following:

  • Background information on the current Blue Box Program and an overview of the recent legislative changes.
  • Stewardship Ontario and the Authority‘s roles and responsibilities throughout the a-BBPP initiative.
  • Key messages, principles and objectives of the Stakeholder and Indigenous Peoples Engagement and Communications Plan.
  • Stewardship Ontario and the Authority’s a-BBPP consultation and engagement approach.
  • An overview of the stakeholder and Indigenous Peoples groups that will be actively engaged and consulted.
  • Key issues and concerns that are likely to arise in each of the groups along with how these issues may be addressed.
  • Details on the two phases of consultation and engagement, including timelines, consultation and engagement formats, and ways to provide feedback.

Consultation and Engagement Approach

The consultation period begins in October and ends in January 2018. Throughout this period, stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples will be invited to meetings to discuss and provide feedback on features of the a-BBPP that affect them. The discussion and feedback gathered from these meetings will help Stewardship Ontario draft a proposal for an a-BBPP. The draft a-BBPP proposal will be sent out to stakeholders in December, 2017, for further review and feedback, before being finalized and submitted to the Authority for approval. If the Authority approves the proposal for an a-BBPP, the final proposal and a summary report of stakeholder and Indigenous Peoples engagement will then be submitted to the Minister by the February 15, 2018 deadline.

Stewardship Ontario and the Authority are committed to engaging in meaningful consultation and engagement with stewards, municipalities, Indigenous Peoples, the waste management industry and other stakeholders on the proposal to amend the Blue Box Program Plan. All a-BBPP updates, communications to stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples, as well as the materials from consultation and engagement meetings will be posted on the Authority’s website and the Stewardship Ontario website throughout the consultation period.


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