Based on recommendations from Special Advisor David Lindsay’s report on Recycling and Plastic Waste, the Blue Box Program will transition to producer responsibility in phases over a three-year period.
In June, Ontario engaged Lindsay as a special advisor to help address plastic litter and improve recycling in the province.
“Transitioning the Blue Box Program to full producer responsibility will promote innovation and increase Ontario’s recycling rates while saving taxpayers money,” said Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek. “This shift is a big step towards diverting waste, addressing plastic pollution and creating a new recycling economy that everyone can be proud of in Ontario.”
Over the coming year, Ontario will develop and consult on regulations to support the new producer responsibility framework for the Blue Box Program. Once producer responsibility is fully in place, recycling across the province will be more consistent, with a standard list of materials that can be recycled. There are currently over 240 municipal programs that have their own separate lists of accepted recyclable materials, which affects cost savings and contamination.
“Retail Council of Canada (RCC) supports the Ontario government’s commitment to improving the blue box recycling system. For our part, retailers are committed to full producer responsibility. We share a common view that plastics, printed paper and packaging do not belong in [the] landfill. RCC looks forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure better environmental outcomes,” said Diane J. Brisbois, President & CEO, Retail Council of Canada.
“Residents may not see a big difference at the curb, but it will make a difference for our environment, spur more innovation and importantly, lower costs for taxpayers,” added AMO President and Mayor of Parry Sound, Jamie McGarvey.
The first group of municipalities or First Nations will transfer the responsibility of their programs to producers starting January 1, 2023. By December 31, 2025, producers will be fully responsible for providing blue box services provincewide.