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Blue Box Program Transition Plan

Approved Transition Plan and Related Documents

Communications & Updates


Development of the Transition Plan

The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks directed Stewardship Ontario to wind up the Blue Box Program and develop a Transition Plan whereby producers will be made fully responsible for both the funding and operation of residential recycling in the province under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016.

Stewardship Ontario consulted with stakeholders on its Blue Box Transition Plan proposals on June 16 and 17, 2020.

Consultation materials

After approval from the Board of Directors, Stewardship Ontario submitted its proposed Transition Plan to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA).

RPRA consulted on the Transition Plan in October and November, 2020. More information on RPRA’s consultation is available here.

Stewardship Ontario Submits Recommendation to RPRA to Proceed with Simplified Approach to Blue Box Fee Setting

January 24, 2022

Following consultation with stakeholders, Stewardship Ontario has submitted to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) its recommendation to amend the Blue Box Transition Plan to include the proposed simplified approach to fee setting.

RPRA will undertake its own consultation prior to considering approval. RPRA’s consultation period will run from Friday, January 21 to Friday, February 4, 2022. Stakeholders can submit feedback on the simplified approach by email to For more information, visit RPRA’s consultation webpage, which also houses the documents submitted by Stewardship Ontario as part of its recommendation to RPRA: Blue Box Program Transition Plan: Revised Fee Setting Methodology for 2023-2025 Addendum and Consultation Report.

If approved, the change would eliminate the need for most stewards to report supply-to-market data to Stewardship Ontario in the future. Stewards will be advised before they need to begin preparing their 2022 reports.

Information about the simplified approach to fee setting is available in materials from the January 6 webinar, including the presentation, replay and Q&A summary.

Kind regards,
Stewardship Ontario

RPRA Approves Transition Plan with Conditions that Impact Steward Fees

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) has approved Stewardship Ontario’s Blue Box Program Transition Plan, subject to certain conditions, including the deferral of the Material Cost Differentiation (MCD) Methodology. Use of the Four-Step Fee Methodology was approved.

In the Transition Plan, Stewardship Ontario proposed to use MCD as a new input to fee-setting to provide better and more reliable data on the cost impacts of each material in the recycling system. Other Blue Box programs in Canada have already started the process of replacing the Activity Based Costing (ABC) Methodology with MCD and have set 2021 steward fees using the Four-Step Fee Methodology and a 50/50 blend of the MCD and ABC methodologies.

Stewardship Ontario took the same approach in its proposed Transition Plan. We presented the 2021 steward fee schedule at the Annual Steward Meeting (ASM) while highlighting that it was still subject to approval as part of RPRA’s review and consultation on the Transition Plan.

With RPRA’s condition to defer MCD, we had to recalculate 2021 fees using the Four-Step Fee Methodology and ABC Methodology alone, without MCD. We encourage you to review the new, approved 2021 steward fee schedule.

We understand that many of you will have already set your 2021 budgets based on the fees presented at the ASM, and we regret any inconvenience this change may have caused.

Stewardship Ontario will be reviewing RPRA’s reasons for the deferral of MCD and will be responding with a plan that aims to implement MCD in 2022.

Other conditions for RPRA’s approval of the Transition Plan relate to the following:

  • The impact of adopting MCD on the in-kind amount paid to participating communities.
  • Perceived competitive impacts of adopting MCD prior to transition.
  • Scope of Stewardship Ontario’s Code of Conduct.
  • Access to Stewardship Ontario’s data.
  • Maintaining program performance.
  • Updating the plan through the course of transition.
  • Provision of information to RPRA.

We are reviewing these conditions and will update stakeholders following the completion of this review.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

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