The Government of Ontario has finalized the Blue Box Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, requiring producers to establish and operate systems for the collection, recycling and reuse of blue box materials.
The regulation makes producers fully accountable and financially responsible for their products and packaging once they reach their end of life and are disposed; sets mandatory and enforceable requirements for blue box collection systems; and gives producers choices for resource recovery services in a competitive market.
The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (the Authority) is the regulator established by the Government of Ontario to enforce the requirements of the new regulatory framework under the Blue Box Regulation, along with the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulation, Batteries Regulation and Tires Regulation. The Authority is also responsible for providing information and supporting businesses in understanding and complying with the regulatory requirements.
The Blue Box Regulation applies to producers of products and packaging supplied to consumers in Ontario. The regulation requires producers to:
- Register with the Authority on or before October 1, 2021
- Establish and operate systems to collect and manage blue box materials discarded by consumers in communities outside the Far North starting July 1, 2023
- Report annually on performance to the Authority starting in 2024
All First Nation communities that wish to receive producer-run blue box services must register with the Authority, including communities that currently provide blue box services under Stewardship Ontario’s Blue Box Program Plan.
For municipalities and First Nation communities that currently provide blue box services, producers are responsible for delivering these services starting July 1, 2023 through to December 31, 2025. Specific transition dates for municipalities are outlined in the Transition Schedule. The Transition Schedule will be updated to include First Nation communities after engagement with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has taken place.
Municipalities are required to report information about their current blue box collection systems to the Authority on or before September 30, 2021. First Nation communities are required to report information about their current blue box collection systems to the Authority on or before November 30, 2021.
Processors of blue box materials will be required to register with the Authority on or before April 1, 2022.
The current Blue Box Program administered by Stewardship Ontario on behalf of stewards under the Blue Box Program Plan and Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 will transition to the new regulatory framework for resource recovery starting on July 1, 2023 through to December 31, 2025. During the transition, Stewardship Ontario will continue to administer the program on behalf of stewards, and residents will not see any disruption in the blue box services provided by their municipalities and First Nation communities. Learn more about the transition.
Starting July 1, 2023, the Authority will be responsible for overseeing the new resource recovery system for blue box materials.
We will also be hosting learning events throughout the coming months to help those affected by the regulation meet their obligations, including sessions on reporting and registration requirements. Stay tuned for more details, or sign up for our newsletter to receive updates.