Ontario’s New Blue Box Regulation

This summer, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP) released a finalized Blue Box Regulation (O.Reg 391/21) that will make producers fully responsible for the collection and end-of-life management blue box materials under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, (RRCEA, 2016).

The goal is to give producers control over how they provide blue box collection services to residents, manage collected blue box wastes, and achieve compliance with diversion targets, while securing a recycling program that is viable over the long term and remains at the heart of residential recycling as committed in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan (2018).

The new blue box regulation requires producers of paper, packaging, packaging-like products and single-use items to:

  • maintain or improve existing blue box services, including participating in a common curbside blue box collection system across Ontario;
  • expand blue box services to communities outside the Far North, regardless of population;
  • expand blue box collection services to additional sources, such as multi-unit residential buildings, schools, some public spaces, and specified retirement and long-term care homes;
  • collect a consistent set of materials in blue boxes across the province;
  • meet management requirements for blue box materials, such as diversion targets; and
  • implement a promotion and education program to increase awareness about collection, reuse, recycling and recovery of materials

The current Blue Box Program will transition to the new regulatory framework starting on July 1, 2023 through to December 31, 2025, during which time Stewardship Ontario will continue administering the program on behalf of stewards. Residents will not see any disruption in the blue box services provided by their municipalities and First Nation communities.

For more information, please contact:

Marc Peverini, Senior Policy Analyst, Resource Recovery Policy Branch at Marc.Peverini@ontario.ca or (416)908-1528

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