Stewardship Ontario has operated the province’s Blue Box recycling program for packaging and printed paper since 2004. Stewardship Ontario is focused on smoothly transitioning Ontario to a new regulatory framework for the Blue Box and preparing to wind up our operations.
In August 2019, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks directed Stewardship Ontario to wind up the current Blue Box Program and develop a Transition Plan to a new model in which producers are fully responsible for both the funding and operation of residential recycling in the province under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA). Stewardship Ontario does not have a role in the new model.
The first Ontario communities are scheduled to be transitioned to the new RRCEA framework beginning July 1, 2023, with the entire province operating under the new framework by December 31, 2025. After the transition is completed, Stewardship Ontario will be wound up as an organization.
Approval and Implementation
In December 2020, the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) approved, with conditions, the Blue Box Transition Plan submitted by Stewardship Ontario. Stewardship Ontario continues to work with RPRA on plans to satisfy the conditions that remain.
On July 1, 2023, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) issued the final Blue Box Regulation including amendments, that define the operational requirements for the Blue Box. Stewardship Ontario has no role in implementing the new regulation. Further information about the regulation, including registration and data requirements for stewards (referred to as producers under the new regulation), is available on the RPRA website.
In May 2022, an Addendum to the Blue Box Transition Plan to implement simplified fee setting was approved by RPRA.