In August 2017, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change requested the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) and Stewardship Ontario submit a proposal for an amended Blue Box Program.
The direction was characterized as the first phase transition for the Blue Box Program … and will set the stage for a second phase of transition that will result in individual producer responsibility under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA).
In short, the amended Blue Box Program Plan (a-BBPP) is intended to transition Ontario’s Blue Box Program from its current shared cost model between municipalities and producers to a full producer responsibility model.
The Minister also provided further direction under a number of broad categories in an Addendum to the a-BBPP and includes:
- Program Performance: The a-BBPP requires a 75% recovery rate for printed paper and packaging, as well as a proposal for material-specific targets.
- Waste Reduction: Stewardship Ontario has been directed to develop means to discourage the use of problematic materials and/or to provide for increased diversion at the end-of-life.
- Continuous Improvement: Stewardship Ontario has been asked to provide consideration and recommendations for extending recycling services to multi-family buildings and public spaces.
Throughout October and November Stewardship Ontario and RPRA held consultations with various stakeholders groups and presented information and considerations that will make up the a-BBPP.
RCO has composed a preliminary response (PDF, 700 KB, 13 pages) on several aspects of the a-BBPP that were offered during Stewardship Ontario consultations.
Stewardship Ontario has committed to releasing the full and detailed plan on Dec. 22, 2017 with a short comment period to Jan. 15, 2018. Stewardship Ontario will then submit the a-BBPP to RPRA for approval by late January, and to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change for approval by Feb. 15, 2018.