Ontario Government Conducting Webinar on Nov 27th on How You can Participate in the Development of the Province’s Blue Box Program Transition to Full Producer Responsibility

As previously advised, the government of Ontario is moving forward with the next steps in transitioning the Blue Box program to full producer responsibility and they are inviting manufacturers/brand owners to have the opportunity to participate in an upcoming webinar to explain how you can take part in the development of a new regulation that will define how the producer-run Blue Box system will work.

On August 15, 2019, Minister Yurek took the first step in transitioning the Blue Box program to full producer responsibility by directing Stewardship Ontario to develop a plan outlining how the existing municipally-run program will continue until producers take over full operation between 2023 and 2025.

The next stage in this transition process is the development of a regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act as well as any regulatory amendments necessary to end municipalities’ obligation to provide Blue Box services. 

The ministry knows that there is strong interest in the Blue Box from a broad cross-section of producers, waste management industries, municipalities and non-profit organizations. Input from all these sectors will be key to ensuring that the transitioned Blue Box system is affordable for producers, workable for the waste processing sector, and effective and accessible for residents. 

The webinar will be held November 27, 2019. If you are interested in participating, please register by November 22, 2019 with Marc Peverini, Senior Policy Analyst, Resource Recovery Policy Branch at Marc.Peverini@ontario.ca or 416-908-1528. Further webinar details will be provided to those who confirm their participation.

The ministry has established three working groups representing a broad collection of stakeholders interested in the new producer-led Blue Box system to inform the work on the regulations: producers; municipalities; waste management and packaging manufacturers.

The working groups will also inform the development of a policy paper to be released in spring 2020 for public consultation on the Environmental Registry, which will outline the key elements and proposed approach for a producer responsibility regulation under Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act. This will include maintaining a convenient and accessible collection system, identifying a standardized list of materials to be collected (including considering how best to deal with single use plastics), and setting targets or other performance targets. Individuals will also be engaged at that time to provide initial feedback on the new Blue Box system and an overview of the paper.

Based on feedback from this policy paper, a draft regulation will be prepared and consulted on later in the year. The goal is to finalize the regulation early in 2021.

The first group of Blue Box programs will transfer responsibility of their programs to producers starting January 1, 2023. By December 31, 2025, producers will be fully responsible for providing Blue Box services province-wide.