On August 14, 2017, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change issued directions to the Authority and Stewardship Ontario to work collaboratively with stewards, municipalities and affected stakeholders to develop a proposal for an amended Blue Box Program Plan and, if approved, to submit the proposal by February 15, 2018 for the Minister’s consideration. The proposal would initiate the first phase of transition for the Blue Box Program under the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 (WDTA), and set the stage for a second phase of transition to individual producer responsibility under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016.

The Authority and Stewardship Ontario collaborated in developing an engagement plan to solicit advice and recommendations from interested stakeholders and Indigenous peoples on how to best respond to the Minister’s direction to transition the Blue Box Program from shared to full producer responsibility.

Stewardship Ontario completed the first phase of consultations between October and November 2017. The engagement plan and consultation details are available on Stewardship Ontario’s website.

On December 19, 2017 Stewardship Ontario launched the second phase of consultations with the posting of its draft amended Blue Box Program Plan, followed by a webinar consultation on January 8, 2018. Stewardship Ontario accepted comments on the plan until January 15, 2018.

The Authority prepared a commentary on its role and mandate in the initiative; an assessment of the consultation process to date; and an outline of the actions it will take after receiving an amended Blue Box Program Plan from Stewardship Ontario. Read the commentary here.

The WDTA requires that a Program Agreement between the Authority and Stewardship Ontario be included in an amended Blue Box Program Plan. The Program Agreement governs the role of Stewardship Ontario in the operation of the program and the exercise of Stewardship Ontario’s powers under the WDTA.

Read the draft Program Agreement, which includes an introduction by the Authority. The Authority consulted on the draft Program Agreement from December 19, 2017 to January 15, 2018.

As of February 15, 2018, Stewardship Ontario and the Authority have determined that more time is needed to address the comments received on the draft amended Blue Box Program Plan.

On August 15, 2019, the Minister sent direction letters to Stewardship Ontario and the Authority regarding the wind up of the Blue Box Program in order to modernize and improve Ontario’s Blue Box services by transitioning to a full producer responsibility model. In his letter, the Minister directed Stewardship Ontario to engage and work cooperatively with the Authority, including ensuring that any real, potential or apparent conflict of interest concerns be addressed prior to and during the development of the plan.

Stewardship Ontario’s proposed Blue Box Program Wind-Up Plan is due to the Authority by August 31, 2020 and the Authority anticipates reviewing and approving the plan by December 31, 2020.

For more information about the Blue Box Program and its wind up and transition to the new regulatory framework, visit the Authority’s Blue Box web page