The transition of the Blue Box Program to full producer responsibility has been initiated by a direction letter from the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) on August 15, 2019 to make industry responsible for both the funding and operation of residential recycling in the province.
Stewardship Ontario is required to submit a Blue Box Program wind up plan to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) by June 30, 2020. It is expected that RPRA will approve the plan by December 31, 2020. During this time, the Ontario government will develop and consult on regulations to support the new responsibility framework for the Blue Box Program. The first communities will be transitioned beginning January 1, 2023, with the entire province operating under the new framework by December 31, 2025.
The direction letter aligns with the report from Ontario’s Special Advisor on Recycling and Plastic Waste that was released August 6, 2019. The letter identifies a number of principles to guide the development of the plan, including:
- Parties affected by the transition should be consulted and have opportunities for meaningful engagement during the development and implementation of the plan.
- The plan shall support competition in, and not adversely affect, Ontario’s current and future marketplace for the collection and recovery of paper products and packaging.
- Ontarians’ access to and experience with the Blue Box Program shall not be negatively impacted during the transition.
Stewardship Ontario looks forward to working with stewards, municipalities, First Nations communities, MECP, RPRA and all other stakeholders as we prepare to move forward and transition Ontario’s Blue Box to full producer responsibility.