Ontario amends Blue Box regulations

The Government of Ontario has made amendments to the Blue Box Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016.

The amendments were made to clarify the process for creating the province-wide system for collecting Blue Box materials that will be operated by producer responsibility organizations (PROs) on behalf of producers.

Below is a summary of the amendments to the Blue Box Regulation:

  • Each producer is responsible for providing Blue Box collection to every eligible source in Ontario.
  • Rule creators and the rule creation process, including the allocation table, have been removed.
  • PROs that, either on their own or with another PRO, represent producers that supply more than 66% of Blue Box material tonnage are required to submit a report on how they will operate the Blue Box system. The report must be submitted to RPRA by July 1, 2022.
  • Newspaper producers whose newspaper supply accounts for at least 70% of their total Blue Box supply are exempt from collection, management, and promotion and education requirements. Newspapers, however, are still an obligated material under the regulation and will continue to be collected in the Blue Box system.

These amendments came into effect on April 14, 2022.

The amendments do not change or impact what needs to be reported to RPRA or the materials collected in the Blue Box system, the communities that receive collection or collection requirements, as outlined in the original regulation released on June 3, 2021.

The amendments also do not impact the transition timelines as set by the government. During the transition period, residents will not see any disruption in the Blue Box services provided by their municipalities and First Nation communities.

The Blue Box Regulation makes producers of packaging and paper products fully accountable and financially responsible for their products and packaging once they reach their end of life and are disposed; sets mandatory and enforceable requirements for Blue Box collection systems; and gives producers choices for resource recovery services in a competitive market.

To help registrants and other stakeholders better understand the amendments, RPRA will be hosting a virtual Q&A session with Mary Cummins, RPRA’s Registrar, on Wednesday, May 18, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Register here.