August 12, 2019

Advisor report outlines transition to full producer 
responsibility for Ontario's Blue Box Program

The report from Ontario's Special Advisor on Recycling and Plastic Waste released August 6, 2019, identifies a number of issues and recommendations for improving packaging recycling in the province.

Following his appointment by the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks ( MECP) in June, David Lindsay consulted broadly with many affected stakeholders, including stewards and municipalities, to produce his report Renewing the Blue Box: Final report on the blue box mediation process.

Some of Mr. Lindsay's recommendations for developing a path to transition the Blue Box Program to full producer responsibility include:
  • Transition should occur in a phased approach over six years;
  • Regulations should make producers responsible for all printed paper and packaging they put into the market by setting clear goals for diversion from landfill;
  • MECP should identify material-specific targets;
  • There should be a common collection system comprising a standardized list of materials;
  • During transition, scope should be limited to residential recycling with expansion to multi-family and public space taking place after the transition period ends. IC&I should also be outside the initial scope;
  • MECP should consult and finalize new regulations that specify how the blue box will move to full producer responsibility; and
  • Before the end of 2019, MECP should provide further direction to Stewardship Ontario outlining the timeline for transition.
MECP has not released any comment on the recommendations at this time.

Stewardship Ontario looks forward to receiving further clarity from the MECP. In the meantime, we thank Mr. Lindsay for his important contribution and look forward to working with MECP, RPRA and all other stakeholders as we prepare to move forward and transition Ontario's blue box to full producer responsibility.