Up to $70,000 is available to support innovative ideas focused on optimizing carton collection, sorting, and recovery 

Toronto, Ontario, May 4, 2022 – Carton Council of Canada (CCC) today invited municipalities and waste management companies operating material recovery facilities (MRFs) in Ontario, and other entities responsible for operating residential recycling programs to respond to CCC’s Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) related to improving the rate of carton recovery in Ontario. CCC has set aside an aggregate amount of $70,000 to support projects brought forward through this REOI in 2022.

“Carton Council of Canada believes that collaboration among industry stakeholders is one of the most important ways we can help optimize the recovery of cartons,” says Isabelle Faucher, Managing Director, Carton Council of Canada. “The goal of this REOI is to encourage positive, productive and creative thinking about ways we can work together to achieve better carton recovery outcomes.”


Over the last fourteen years, carton collection/recovery rates have more than doubled in Canada, increasing from 26% to 55% in 2022.[1] While the carton performance has doubled nationally, the carton recovery rate in Ontario has been declining.[2] In fact, the province’s carton recovery rate dropped from to 52.7% in 2019 to 40.3% in 2022.[3] While some of this decrease may be attributable to the methodology used to calculate the carton recovery performance, challenges such as COVID, labour shortages, access to technology and market conditions have also likely contributed to the decline in cartons’ performance.

“It’s been a challenging time for the recycling industry,” says Faucher. “We hope that by offering an opportunity for recycling operators to put forward their ideas, we can support the development of successful grassroots solutions. We also hope that funding from CCC can reduce the financial burden and risk to REOI respondents as they test initiatives prior to a full-scale rollout.”

CCC also believes that the impending transition to a producer-led framework under Ontario’s new Blue Box Regulation presents an important opportunity for future service providers – municipal and private. Cartons will be on the list of mandated items for collection, and there will most likely be a requirement to sort them into their own grade (ISRI Grade 52 spec bales). Implementing actions now can help actors get ready for the transition by positioning respondents as strategic long-term partners to Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) and their producers.


To be eligible for consideration, expressions of interest must be submitted no later than 6 pm ET on July 4, 2022. Projects must be completed within a maximum of two years from the REOI’s launch (i.e., no later than May 4, 2024).

Expressions of interest pertaining to the following areas of focus will be considered:

  • Consulting services to enable or to optimize, carton sorting processes. This includes any or all of MRF configuration, sorter placement, technology and storage.
  • Financing for audits (e.g., inbound material, container stream, paper stream, bales, etc.), pilot projects and equipment. Example of the later include investments in automation (optical sorters, robots), extensions to existing conveyors and the splitting of bunkers to allocate room for sorted cartons.
  • Awareness campaigns to increase the quantity of cartons in the stream.
  • Any other focus area that would benefit carton recovery.

It is important to note that cartons do not have to be the sole focus of the project and can be part of a broader initiative.

View eligibility and the REOI application process


The Carton Council of Canada (CCC) is composed of four leading carton manufacturers – Elopak, Pactiv Evergreen, SIG Combibloc, and Tetra Pak. Formed in 2010, CCC works to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from disposal. Carton Council of Canada provides a platform for carton manufacturers in Canada to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low-carbon packaging solutions.

For the past 12 years, CCC has been working with all stakeholders in the recycling supply chain to increase carton collection and recovery. There is demand for feedstock from food and beverage cartons to make new products, including paper products and building materials.

For more information, visit recyclecartons.ca.


Please direct questions to Isabelle Faucher at ifaucher@recyclecartons.ca or by phone at (647) 967-5881.

[1] Some Canadian jurisdictions report a collection rate while others report a recovery (recycling) rate. For this reason, we cannot report a uniform national collection or recovery (recycling) rate.

[2] The carton recovery rate in Ontario is currently measured as the tonnes of cartons sold to end-markets relative to the tonnes of cartons put on the market

[3] Refer to the BB Fee Calculation Model for years 2019 and 2022, available through Stewardship Ontario’s web site. Please note that there is a two-year lag in recovery performance reporting in Ontario. As such, the recovery reported in 2019 is based on 2017 data and performance reported in 2022 is based on 2020 data.