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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