It’s Back to (Carton) School Time!

It’s Back to (Carton) School Time!

It’s that time of year again – the air is a little bit cooler, the leaves are just starting to change, and kids across the country have headed back to the classroom.

And while math and history and science make up much of the classroom discussion, I am particularly excited by the partnerships and collaborations Carton Council Canada (CCC) has underway with local and national school environmental initiatives.

In October, I have been invited to speak to local educators about carton recycling and waste audits, as part of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) EcoSchool program kick-off meetings. EcoSchools (part of the Sustainability Office at TDSB) is a long-standing school greening program focused both on environmental education and action, with an opportunity for participating schools to become certified.

This year, the theme of the workshops is Climate Action: Empowering Students to be Agents of Change and I am excited to be part of this timely and dynamic conversation. Schools are a critical element of any recycling awareness strategy, so this is a tremendous opportunity to support and help inform these efforts.

CCC also has an established partnership with EcoSchools Canada (previously Ontario EcoSchools), who works to empower all members of school communities with “the knowledge, skills, and desire to act as environmentally responsible citizens”.

Similar to TDSB’s program, EcoSchools Canada certifies schools who have demonstrated achievements in environmental learning and action. The collaboration will involve broadening EcoSchools Canada’s waste audit template tool to include milk carton and drink boxes categories, as well as collecting relevant data about carton recycling in schools, including identifying barriers to carton recycling and identifying potential solutions.

Last but not least, CCC is pleased to work with Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) to provide curriculum-based lesson plans focused on carton recycling for Grades 1-3 and 5-6. These lessons use math, science, and language arts to help students learn how they can have a positive impact on the environment.

It’s a tremendous start to the school year and we look forward to continuing to work on projects like these, helping build carton recycling ambassadors across the country.

Carton Council Canada is a proud sponsor of two events and an exhibitor at a third event this Fall

CCC’s Managing Director, Isabelle Faucher, looks forward to connecting with many industry stakeholders at these events!

The 10th Annual Canadian Waste to Resource Conference will be held in Toronto, October 8 to 10, 2019, in conjunction with the hugely successful Waste & Recycling Expo Canada.

The bi-annual Conference on Canadian Stewardship will be held November 5-7, 2019, at Parq Vancouver.

Reseau Environment’s annual Waste Management Conference will be held in Lévis, Quebec, November 13-14, 2019. CCC will have an exhibitor booth at the event.

Ontario’s Transition to a Full Producer Responsibility Blue Box Program

Ontario’s Transition to a Full Producer Responsibility Blue Box Program

Minister Yurek announces next steps to transition costs and oversight of the Blue Box Program to industry at Canada Fibers’ Toronto facility

On August 15, I attended an event convened by Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Jeff Yurek and his colleagues to announce the next steps related to the transition of Ontario’s Blue Box Program to full producer responsibility, from the current model under which municipalities and producers share the costs of the program.

The Carton Council of Canada applauds the Ontario Government’s steps “towards diverting waste, addressing plastic pollution and creating a new recycling economy that everyone can be proud of in Ontario.”[i] Last week’s announcement also provides much-needed certainty in terms of the timing of the transition.

According to the government’s announcement, Ontario will develop and consult on regulations to support the new producer responsibility framework for the Blue Box Program over the next year. Stewardship Ontario, which manages the current Blue Box Program, will submit a plan to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority by June 30, 2020. The first batch of municipalities to transition will do so by January 1, 2023, with transition to be completed by the end of 2025.

Carton Council Canada commends the leadership of industry and municipal representatives, whose collaborative approach and dedication to this file have ensured a productive outcome from the series of facilitated meetings and the report authored by Special Advisor David Lindsay, which paved the way for this announcement.

Of course, much work remains ahead, notably with the drafting of the Blue Box regulations, which will define the transition process as well as the parameters and requirements of the new program. But if the past few months are any indication of the future, then I would say we are off to a promising start.

CCC looks forward to continuing its engagement as consultations kick off this fall and as we collectively take this defining next step on the road to transitioning the Blue Box program.

[i] https://news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2019/08/ontario-announces-next-steps-to-improve-recycling-and-tackle-plastic-waste.html